Monday, April 3, 2017

POEA begins probe on illegal deployment of direct hires

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has launched an internal investigation following discovery of an "anomaly" within the agency involving the illegal deployment of directly hired OFWs, according to GMA News' JP Soriano in a report on "24 Oras" Friday.
"Nag-create na talaga ng fact-finding to investigate the alleged anomaly ho. Pina-fasttrack ho namin 'yan," POEA deputy administrator Jocelyn Sanchez said.
"Yung proseso, marami 'yung mga dapat i-take into consideration ng ating fact-finding," she added.
The creation of a fact-finding team came following the reshuffle of POEA directors and other officials as ordered by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
"Marami akong naririnig na gawain doon sa POEA na kahit hindi ka qualified, 'pag nangotong ka, nagbigay ka ng amount, ilalagay lang ang pangalan mo doon kahit alam nilang madi-disqualify ka," Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said in a press briefing in MalacaƱang.
"I would revamp the organizational structure of POEA. Babalasahin ko yung mga nangongotong doon. I already have names," he added.
The report said the DOLE discovered that despite the ban on direct hires, some OFWs not covered by existing exemptions have been deployed without passing through POEA-accredited recruitment firms.
Bello III said he already had a list of POEA officials who allegedly took bribes to allow OFWs who do not qualify for direct hiring to leave the country with Overseas Employment Certificates (OEC).
Section 123 of POEA rules and regulations states that "[n]o employer shall directly hire an overseas Filipino worker for overseas employment." This rule, however, does not cover highly-skilled workers like doctors and nurses.
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. Rie Takumi/KBK, GMA News

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