Unlicensed recruiter padlocked
MANILA, Philippines–The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has padlocked First World Immigration, a Baliuag, Bulacan-based immigration consultancy firm for recruiting an undisclosed number of prospective overseas Filipino workers for non-existent vineyard, dairy and fruit farm jobs in New Zealand.
POEA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac also ordered the filing of illegal recruitment charges against the company, which has offices at DRT Highway in Barangay (village) Tarcan, Baliuag town, and its officials—Bernadette Angeles and Julia Umali (also known as Julia Angeles)—“to prevent further exploitation of innocent applicants for overseas employment.”
In a statement, he said the Department of Labor and Employment-attached agency’s anti-illegal recruitment unit and Public Employment Service Office, assisted by the Philippine National Police, recently “padlocked the First World office after confirmation that the company was indeed engaged in illegal recruitment activities.”
“First World was recruiting vineyard, dairy and fruit farm workers for New Zealand without a license from the POEA,” Cacdad also said.
The erring firm allegedly “charged each applicant a placement fee of P60,000 and an additional medical examination fee of P4,000 to P4,500,” he added.
Meanwhile, the POEA suspended the accreditation of six more job recruitment companies for alleged misrepresentation and deploying domestic helpers to the United Arab Emirates using other work visas.
Two of the firms—Trustworthy International Manpower Corp. and Filscandia Manpower Recruitment Services—were found to have deployed OFWs to the United Arab Emirates using visas intended for foot spa workers and security guards.
The migrant workers, however, ended up working as household workers.
Worse, instead of getting 1,600 dirhams (about $435.50) a month as stipulated in their job contracts, they were paid only 1,100 dirhams (about $299).
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