Thursday, February 28, 2008

DoLe Urges Taiwan-bound OFWs to Report Agencies Charging Excessive Fees

Secretary Arturo Brion of the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) warned Philippine recruitment agencies and their Taiwanese counterparts who are charging excessive fees for Filipino applicants bound to Taiwan.

The advisory was issued due to the report received by the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Taipei regarding an increasing number of cases against recruitment agencies collecting excessive placement fees from OFWs. The amount range from Php50,000 to Php190,000 each applicant.

The DoLE urges OFWs who has been victimized of these agencies to file complaints with the POLOs in Taiwan or with the POEA.

According to Secretary Brion, POLOs in Taipei, Taichung, and Kaoshiung in Taiwan is gathering more information from the victims and urging them to expose the name of the agencies that collects excessive fees from Filipino applicants bound to Taiwan.
Brion added that these agencies violate the POEA rule that prohibits recruiters in collecting placement fees which is more than the one-month salary of the OFWs.

Recruiters who will be caught violating the rule will suffer from suspension and cancellation or their licenses while their Taiwanese counterpart will be blacklisted.

According to the report received by Brion from POLO, OFWs who were victim of this practice were asked to sign a loan agreement that would settle their unpaid placement fees or gave a post dated checks to the agencies.

He also added that agencies asked OFWs to pay some NT$94,463 which is equivalent to Php 119,049 and is six times higher than the fees paid by OFWs in Taiwan hired under the special hiring program for Taiwan (SHPT).

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