The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has lifted the ban on direct hiring of OFWs, following the conclusion of its investigation on the anomalous deployment of directly hired OFWs not covered by the exemption.
"I recalled the suspension of direct hiring of OFWs right after our investigation," said Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III in a 24 Oras report by GMA News' Jun Veneracion.
"Minabuti ko na imbestigahan na muna, at ngayong tapos na ang imbestigasyon, alam na namin kung sino ang mga involved, at nagkakaroon ng re-organization within the agency," he added, referring to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).
Bello imposed the moratorium on April 26 through Administrative Order No. 155 series of 2017.
The order was put into effect to investigate POEA personnel who allegedly processed and deployed directly hired OFWs not covered by exemptions in exchange for fees.
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.
Exceptions, as stated by Section 124, include members of the diplomatic corps, international organizations, heads of states and government officials with the rank of at least deputy minister, close relatives, and other employers as may be allowed by the DOLE Secretary. —Rie Takumi/KBK, GMA News