Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr. urged the government to launch a sustained crackdown against illegal recruiters and fly-by-night manning agencies expected to sprout after the lifting of the ban on the deployment of Filipino workers to Iraq and Yemen.
“Often we hear of sad stories about Filipino applicants for jobs abroad who sold their properties or withdrew their entire savings to pay for the expense of applying for an overseas job only to lose everything to unscrupulous recruiters,” Marcos said.
At the same time, Marcos said the POEA should disclose to the public through the traditional and social media the recruitment agencies blacklisted from signing up Filipino workers for overseas employments due to illegal recruitment activities.
“The government, particularly the POEA, should be on the lookout for illegal recruiters. With the lifting of the ban, thousands of Filipinos would surely rush to grab the opportunity to work in the Middle East and earn dollars. But illegal recruiters may exploit the situation to dupe unwary applicants,” he pointed out.
At the same time, he said the POEA should come out with clear guidelines in the deployment of OFWs in the two Arab countries, as well as the list of agencies authorized to recruit workers for deployment in Iraq and Yemen.
Marcos likewise urged the POEA to monitor and padlock recruitment agencies found extracting exorbitant fees from applicants for overseas jobs.
Earlier, Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said the POEA has approved a resolution lifting the 5-year ban on the deployment of OFWs to Iraq, as well as a similar ban on Yemen upon the recommendation of the Department of Foreign Affairs.
However, Baldoz clarified that the processing and deployment of new hires, except household service workers, in Iraq shall only resume upon the conclusion of a bilateral agreement with the country and the identification of the restricted zones.
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