Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Beware of Illegal Recruitment on the Internet

The Philippines Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) reported that a syndicate is using the Internet in recruiting overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and collecting exorbitant fees from prospective overseas workers for non-existent jobs abroad.

The public is reminded that WorkAbroad.ph and OFWGuide.com are not recruitment agencies. It only facilitates job application and information dissemination. Job openings posted in the website are from POEA's list of licensed agencies. Added to that, registration at WorkAbroad.ph is for free and do not require the applicants to shell out any amount of money.

“We have received reports about such activity and we are waiting for complainants to come to us so that we can take action against these recruiters who promise applicants with ghost jobs,” Baldoz said.

Baldoz also said that the syndicates post advertisements or messages on various websites, online forums and chat rooms in conducting the recruitment.

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) together with the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) launched a renewed campaign against illegal recruitment.

“The alarming rise in illegal recruitment has forced us to act,” said Baldoz.

Usually, poor workers, whose dream is to give better future for their families, have to sell their farm animals or mortgage their house to raise the money for their placement fees became victim of illegal recruitment.

Said recruiters, usually unlicensed agencies, collect placement fees in excess of the authorized fee which is the equivalent of a worker’s one-month pay. The victims of the non-exiting jobs were left stranded in the foreign land with no means to return in their homeland.

“Payments are also coursed through the Internet, eliminating face-to-face meetings with the victim,” said Baldoz.

The POEA and NBI are planning to conduct anti-illegal recruitment consultations in different regions of the country to make the public aware of the gravity of the spurious recruitment problem. They will also distribute guides on how to avoid dealing with illegal recruiters.

Baldoz said victims of illegal recruitment from January to May this year have increased by 242.2% compared to the same period last year.

Meanwhile, she also warns the public to avoid dealing with illegal recruiters operating in Dubai with a tie-up with Manila-based agencies. Many Filipino women have been lured to work in Dubai where they are sold to prostitution rings.

This article was first published in www.ofwguide.com in July 27, 2006

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