POEA slaps P3.6-M fine on recruitment agency
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) imposed a P3.6-million fine on a recruitment agency for failing to repatriate 8 Filipino workers it had deployed to the Middle East.
POEA administrator Hans Leo Cacdac told Rappler on Friday, April 1, that his office imposed the hefty fine on Al-Masiya Overseas Placement Agency, Incorporated.
“They violated our rules, including the obligation for the recruitment agency to timely repatriate OFWs who requested for it,” Cacdac said.
In a 16-page resolution dated March 23, POEA said 29 household workers deployed by Al-Masiya to Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates made repatriation requests between October 2011 to February 2, 2013.
According to the POEA, Al-Masiya had already facilitated the repatriation of 21 OFWs, but 8 are yet to return to the Philippines:
- Mary Cynthia Dagnaus
- Karen Mingming de Peralta
- Corazon Licon Javier
- Liezl Waje Gutierrez
- Analyn Mejia
- Carmina Verzo
- Rosemarie Estorga
- Raquel Mancao dela Cerna
The 2002 POEA Rules and Regulations state that recruitment agencies are “primarily tasked to repatriate their deployed workers when the need arises.” This includes instances when OFWs request for repatriation.
“Clearly, the above mentioned workers were not yet repatriated, and worst, their whereabouts especially their status and present conditions are unknown to the respondent agency,” the POEA said in its resolution.
“In addition, respondent alleged that the employer of the non-repatriated workers has already severed its accreditation with the respondent agency, as such, the latter has no more communication with them,” it added.
Al-Masiya’s operations had been suspended by the POEA since April 1, 2013, in violation of other rules, including the following:
- Disregarding orders, notices, and other legal processes issued by the administration
- Non-compliance with any other undertaking in connection with the issuance or renewal of the recruitment agency’s license
- Violation of other pertinent provisions of the Code and other relevant laws, rules, and regulations, guidelines, and other issuances on recruitment and placement of workers for overseas employment and protection of their welfare
Cacdac said the POEA resolution was served to Al-Masiya on Monday, March 28.
He added that the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration is currently working to repatriate the 8 OFWs.
Gavel, pen and paper image via Shutterstock