POEA goes online to fight illegal recruitment
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has partnered with an online recruitment company to “fight illegal recruitment” of Filipinos seeking to work abroad.
In a press launch on Wednesday, June 5, POEA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac led the partnership with online company, Jobstreet.com. They launched educational resources to promote “safe and real jobs” for Filipinos who want to work overseas.
The launch was titled “Matalino ako! Hindi ako magpapaloko!” (I am smart! I will not be fooled!).
In 2012, according to POEA records, 152 cases of illegal recruitment involving 312 victims were filed.
Among the panel who joined Cacdac were Jobstreet.com Country Manager Mary Grace Colet, Jobstreet Marketing Manager Carolyn Enriquez, and POEA Deputy Administrator Amuersina Reyes.
Cacdac said the partnership with Jobstreet.com "intends to highlight the best practices, in terms of Internet hiring and recruitment in the right and legal way.”
The partnership included a series of online and offline anti-illegal recruitment materials, including flyers, posters, electronic direct mailers, and educational videos. They are distributed to various POEA-licensed recruitment agencies and jobseekers nationwide.
Cacdac added the partnership also intended to spread the “good word to be a right and legal OFW (Overseas Filipino Workers).”
Materials that have been produced under the partnership include the Top 10 Reminders to Avoid Illegal Recruitment, Pre-Employment Seminar (PEOS), and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on overseas employment.
Work overseas legally
The POEA has set these 10 reminders to avoid illegal recruitment of OFWs:
1) Apply only at recruitment agencies licensed by POEA.
2) Deal only with licensed agencies with POEA-approved job orders.
3) Transact only with an authorized representative of a licensed agency.
4) Transact business only inside the registered address of the agency. If recruitment is conducted in the province or during a job fair, check if the agency has a Special Recruitment Authority (SRA) or Job Fair Authority issued by POEA, or ask the Public Employment Service Office (PESO) of the concerned local government unti.
5) Pay the allowed placement fee only, which should be equivalent to one month's salary. There is no placement fee of household service workers, seafarers, and workers going to countries, which prohibit the charging of such fee.
6) Pay the placement fee only when you have signed an employment contract. Always demand an official receipt reflecting the actual amount paid.
7) Be wary of attractive job offers through the internet that require applicants to immediately remit payment for intended visa, airfare, and processing costs. These should be shouldered by employers.
8) Be wary of ads or brochures requiring you to reply to post office (P.O.) box numbers and to enclose payment for application forms and processing of papers.
9) Accept overseas job offers using employment or work visa/permit and not tourist/visit visa.
10) Transact directly with government offices/personnel instead of dealing with fixers.
Are you a documented OFW?
The POEA also listed 6 things to check ticked, to identify whether an OFW is legal and documented.
1) Do you have a valid passport and working/employment visa or permit?
2) Do you have a contract of employment processed by the POEA or verified and registered on-site by the Philippine Overseas Labor Office?
3) Do you have a Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) certificate?
4) Do you possess an Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC), which will serve as your exit clearance and exemption from paying the Philippine travel tax and airport terminal fee?
5) Do you have a valid OWWA Fund and Pag-Ibig Fund membership?
6) Do you have a valid PhilHealth Medical Insurance coverage?
Jobs in demand
In 2012, POEA disclosed that about 1.8 million Filipinos had been deployed overseas, with household service workers having the highest deployment rate, with 155,831 Filipinos.
Nursing professionals, waiters, bartenders, electricians, and cleaners were also part of the top 5 most deployed Filipino workers abroad. Also included as top occupations deployed were laborers, plumbers, caregivers, welders, and cooks.
For 2013, overseas service workers and professional technical workers will be in demand according to a recent survey conducted among the top 100 POEA-licensed agencies by Jobstreet.com. The most in-demand jobs will be from general work (housekeeper, driver, dispatch, messenger) and engineering (mechanical/automotive).
The survey also showed that Middle Eastern countries have the most potential for hiring. Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) top the most overseas job hirings to date, according to Jobstreet.com data supporting statistics from POEA agencies.
Cherryhill Liwanag, 33 years old, was one of the hundreds in line at the POEA application office on Wednesday to finalize her documents for Dubai. Liwanag was with her husband, Rommel, who will be left behind with their 5-year-old special child, Gabriel.
Liwanag just arrived in Manila last May but she decided to leave the country again due to financial reasons. In tears, Liwanag explained how hard it is to leave her son in the Philippines and work by herself abroad.
“It’s hard, but it’s needed. Its very painful to leave my son behind, but I think of him and his future,” Liwanag said. She is expected to leave on June 12 to work in a hotel.
Enerisa Lungay, 36 years old, was next to Liwanag and was also in line to finalize her documents going to Morocco. Lungay just arrived in the Philippines in February but said she needed to go back and work abroad as a nanny to support her family.
“I need to go back because I support my nieces who are studying and I need to help my family,” Lungay said.
Cacdac explained that Filipinos leave to find jobs overseas not just for the sake of having one but is deeply rooted in the ties they have with their families.
“Having a job for Filipinos is deeply rooted because its not just having a job but also having a job for their family,” Cacdac explained adding it is the reason why OFWs go to POEA accompanied with their family members. – Rappler.com