Direct hiring of OFWs are temporarily suspected due to a series of anomalous deployment cases. That is the latest order of Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III effective ASAP.
“Nag-issue ako ng order suspending the processing ng direct hire while I’m investigating the so many reports and text messages reaching my office regarding some shenanigans in that office,” said Bello during a press briefing today.
“I issued an order suspending the processing of direct hires while I’m investigating the so many reports and text messages reaching my office regarding some shenanigans in that office.”
The office that Bello is referring to is the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA), where employees allegedly facilitate illegal deployment in exchange of money.
As of April 25, the issuance of Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) will be suspended under the Administrative Order No. 155 of 2017. This order also includes all pending applications. But those individuals who applied, passed the requirements, and got qualified are exempted from the said suspension.
Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III has ordered the suspension of processing and issuance of overseas employment…
Upon the completion of the investigation this coming May 1, the suspension will be lifted in a week or two since Bello already have a list of employees who will undergo investigation.
“Siguro it will take me one or two weeks to investigate,” he said. “After itong May 1 kasi marami kaming inaasikaso. Tututukan ko ‘yan. In fact we [will] go there and investigate, and after that we will get our findings and come up with our decision.”
“Maybe it will take one or two weeks to investigate,” he said. “After May 1 because I still have other things to attend to. I will concentrate on that. In fact, we will go there and investigate, and after that, we will get our findings and come up with our decision,” he added.
Throughout the entire deployment ban, the POEA will undergo reshuffling of directors and employees. This is in line with the recent reports of OFWs getting deployd and hired by direct employers despite strict rules when it comes to direct hiring.
OFWs prefer this kind of set-up to avoid the hassle of going through recruitment agencies. Though considered more preferable, POEA fixers still charge huge amounts of money starting from P15,000 to P17,000 just to process the documents of direct hired OFWs.
Direct hires clearly contradicts the Section 123 of POEA rules and regulations which states “No employer shall directly hire an overseas Filipino worker for overseas employment.” Highly-skilled workers such as nurses and doctors are exempted from this rule.
Other exemptions according to the Section 124 are diplomatic corps, heads of states, international organizations, high ranking government officials, close relatives and other employers certified by DOLE Secretary.
“This corruption has to stop. We want to be sure that our workers are protected when they leave the country. We should prevent them from being victims of anomalous schemes,” according to Usec. Dominador Say.