Posted by: thecommuterexpress | August 7, 2007

Alleged ‘smuggling’ of OFWs to Iraq

Manila Miles Ni Lolly Acosta

DESPITE the deployment ban in Iraq, why is it there are still Filipinos who insist in working there.

Senator Mar Roxas II bared in a privilege speech the alleged smuggling of the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who were apparently duped into working in Dubai, only to find out that they are being brought to Baghdad.

Earlier reports indicated that officials inside the POEA allegedly allowed recruitment agencies who are at their mercy for a substantial amount of charges.

Labor Secretary Arturo Brion said that he had instructed Labor Attache De Jesus, who had initially reported that he communicated with personnel from the firm concerned – the First Kuwaiti General Trading and Contracting Company, in order to ascertain the identities of the 51 OFWs as well as others possibly deployed to Iraq, but they denied the allegations.

However, POEA Administrstor Rosalinda Baldoz indicated that the firm is a registered principal on a watch listed status based on the POEA’s records, adding that it has ties to seven local recruitment agencies like: France Asia International, Inc.  (France Asia Manpower Services); GFI Manpower International Specialist, Inc.; Great Provider Services Exporters, Inc. (Great Provider Placement Phils. Inc.); MGM Worldwide Manpower and General Services; MMS Placement International Inc.; Sunway International Manpower Services Inc.; and Yangwha Human Resources Corporation.

She said that Great Provider and MGM Worldwide had job orders from First Kuwaiti for Iraq registered with the POEA prior to the suspension of deployment pursuant to DOLE Department Order No. 61-04 issued on July 8, 2004.

On the other hand, MGM Worldwide Manpower’s license had been cancelled as of April 26, 2005.

“First Kuwaiti had been watchlisted on the basis of two Disciplinary Action Against the Employer (DAE) cases filed against it, namely, DAE No. 04-11-1403 for gross violations of laws, rules and regulations on overseas employment,  and DAE No. 04-03-0318 for breach of contract… (but) both cases have been archived since First Kuwaiti refused to submit to the jurisdiction of the POEA, ” Baldoz said.

She added that the respective orders for archiving stated that First Kuwaiti shall remain in the list of foreign principals or employers temporarily disqualified from participating in the overseas employment program until it submits to the jurisdiction of the POEA.

Brion warned recruitment agencies, saying,” “We believe no licensed recruitment agency would risk contravening the rules in place, nonetheless we are prepared to apply the sanctions required in the event of any violations.”

Brion, at the same time, strongly reiterated the DoLE’s caution and warning to OFWs and would-be OFWs to be extra wary about offers of employment in the war torn country.

“Should the ploy not even mention Iraq, we nonetheless urge OFWs to be vigilant and always, to verify first from our Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) the legitimacy of any recruitment agency and its job offers,” he said.

“All it takes is a call to the POEA 24/7 hotlines – 7221144 or 7221155, in order to avoid and report illegal recruitment,” Brion added.

Power truth:  Faith comes from hearing and hearing the Word of God.

For your comments, please text me through 0927-5125244 or email me at lolly_acosta@yahoo .com.  Also tune in every day between 11am-12nn and share what you want to in our Lingkod Bahay, Lingkod Bayan program over radio sation DZAR-1026 khz.  God bless us all!


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