OFWs warned vs dubious Korean jobs

First Posted 08:21:00 10/29/2009

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MANILA, Philippines?The Department of Labor and Employment on Wednesday renewed its warning to overseas Filipino workers against entering South Korea through illegal means such as the so-called ?escort service.?

Labor Secretary Marianito Roque, citing a report from Seoul-based labor attache Delmer Cruz, said there have been Filipino overseas performing artists who entered Korea and issued E-6 visas by the Korea Immigration Service (KIS) without passing through the legal deployment process by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).

KIS issues e-visas to foreign artists seeking jobs in Korea.

The labor chief said there was a discrepancy in the number of such artists verified by the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (Polo) in Seoul and processed by POEA and the data provided by KIS on OFWs issued e-visas in South Korea, indicating the entry of illegally recruited performers to this country.

He attributed such illegal recruitment to unauthorized escort service victimizing vulnerable OFWs. He revealed that the Polo in Seoul had assisted a number of performers who confessed having departed for Korea through the escort service.

The escort service is often practiced in Philippine international airports wherein illegal recruiters and human smugglers connive with airport and immigration personnel to let undocumented OFWs slip out of the country.

Roque called on OFWs not to fall prey to individuals promising overseas jobs without verifying first with POEA whether the promised jobs are legal or not, adding that illegal recruitment like the escort service scheme does not afford them the protection and welfare services that are available to OFWs processed by the POEA.

OFWs going to South Korea through illegal means also ?put their lives and welfare at great risk,? adding that they may fall prey to abusive employers on site.

Roque said that by verifying with POEA, Filipino entertainers and other OFWs seeking jobs in Korea may also be apprised of Korean employers/promoters and entertainment venues with derogatory records and not suited to employ Filipino workers.

According to the secretary, OFWs deployed to Korea under the employment permit system agreement between the governments of the Philippines and the South Korea do not pay exorbitant fees.

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