Illegal recruitment cases in Region 11 almost doubled

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 11 Nov) – The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) in the region noted an increase in illegal recruitment cases this year, almost double the number compared to the previous year.

Through the months of January until October 2015, there were 132 reported cases of illegal recruiting, but with enough information dissemination efforts, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) in the region hopes to have this number reduced.

During the same period last year, there were only 69 cases. And throughout 2014, only 84 were recorded.

POEA-XI head Maria Carolina Agdamag said in a press conference Tuesday that all victims of these cases have been given assistance.

She attributed these numbers to how “aspiring applicants for overseas employment are motivated to work abroad for want of better opportunities and sufficient income,” she said. “They want more comfort in life and have a beautiful house and put up their own business.”

Lack of knowledge continues to be the main factors that cause these people to fall as victims.

“But because they do not know what is the legal procedure, they end up being victims of illegal recruiters,” Agdamag said.

She added that the government’s means of preventing these illegal recruitments is through “massive information dissemination.” This includes conducting pre-employment orientation seminars, anti-illegal recruitment and trafficking in persons campaigns and advisories in websites and the media.

Agdamag said that all these cases are resolved through close coordination with law enforcers. Victims are also assisted to direct filing of cases to the prosecutor’s office.

She advised job seekers to be vigilant and not to be hasty in finding jobs abroad. She encouraged them to make sure that recruitment agencies are authorized and licensed by POEA – and not just “connected” to them.

Agdamag said that there are currently more than 100 licensed recruitment agencies in the region.

When job seekers become victimized to illegal recruiting, they become vulnerable to trafficking and being scammed, losing money in the course.

She encouraged people seeking employment to turn to official announcements by POEA like the one she announced Tuesday.

Agdamag said that the Ministry of Health (MOH) in Saudi Arabia will be sending personnel from their Saudi Recruitment Office to Davao City to hold interviews for female staff nurses. Details for applications can be found in the POEA website and through the regional office in AMYA 2 building in Tulip Drive, Ecoland.

The Saudi Arabia MOH said in a letter to POEA that they are in need of 2,000 female staff nurses.