Reshuffle looms over POEA after discovery of 'anomaly' involving direct hires
Personnel of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) may be reshuffled soon following the discovery of an "anomaly" involving the deployment of directly hired OFWs, a report on "24 Oras" said Thursday.
The report, by GMA News' JP Soriano, said the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has tightened its rules on the issuance of Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) to OFWs as a result of the discovery.
Citing DOLE, the report said some 50 to 100 OFWs directly hired by employers are deployed every day despite the ban on direct hires.
Section 123 of POEA rules and regulations states that "No employer shall directly hire an overseas Filipino worker for overseas employment." This rule, however, does not cover highly-skilled workers like doctors and nurses.
Labor Undersecretary Dominador Say blamed "fixers" within the POEA for the deployment of direct hires who are not covered by the exemptions.
"Marami ang hindi qualified sa exemption na pinadadala sa 'min ng POEA, meaning ina-approve nila. And then we are left with the dirty job of disapproving," Say said in the report.
"Nadikubre ko na totoo na may anomaly," he added. "May mga fixers doon na nagde-demand ng pera from applicants."
Under Section 124, those allowed to directly hire OFWs are members of the diplomatic corps, international organizations, heads of states and government officials with the rank of at least deputy minister, and other employers as may be allowed by the DOLE Secretary.
The POEA has yet to comment on the issue, the report said. —Rie Takumi/KBK, GMA News