POEA (Philippine Overseas Employment Administration) had temporarily suspended the issuance of OEC (Overseas Employment Certificate) while conducting investigations about personnel who were allegedly involved in illegal recruitment procedures. The suspension had enraged many applicants who are about to work abroad as they cannot leave the country without the said document.
Recently, 2 officials from POEA had been removed from the position after being involved in corruption and illegal transactions.
DOLE Undersecretary Dominador Say said that they will be charged according to the severity of their liability whether administratively or criminally. However, Say did not name the two officials.
Meanwhile, the suspension of processing OECs are still on-going; thus, applicants who are about to fly out of the country as first time OFWs cannot leave yet.
POEA is still conducting investigations after they’ve learned that some of their personnel had been earning P250,000 in processing OECs which enables newly hired workers to travel as returning OFWs who only renew OECs instead of applying for a new one. However, many applicants are still applying in recruitment agencies.
POEA is eyeing to finish all investigations by December 1, 2017. But then, it could still be prolonged depending on the outcome.
It is estimated that POEA receives 5,000 new OEC applications each day, totaling 75,000 newly hired OFWs affected since the suspension of OEC took effect on November 13.
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