Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Beware of illegal recruiters in cyberspace, DOLE warns

WITH the bright prospect of another 10-percent to 12-percent increase in overseas deployment this year, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Monday warned against illegal recruiters that include foreign and cyberspace-based firms.

“I advise all overseas job applicants to always inquire or consult the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration [POEA] office regarding overseas employment, much more if they are in doubt,” Labor and Employment Secretary Arturo Brion said.

Brion made the warning after receiving reports from POEA about overseas manpower brokers that recruit Filipino caregivers and nurses to work in Spain.

“The Spanish government has not authorized any placement agency outside the Philippines to recruit Filipino workers,” he said.

Brion explained that under the “Proyekto Piloto,” the experimental hiring of Filipino health-care professionals and skilled workers, only Philippine-based and licensed recruitment agencies are allowed to deploy OFWs to Spain.

“In our memorandum of understanding with Spain, the point of hiring and issuance of entry visas and work permits are exclusively in the Philippines,” Brion pointed out.

On cyberspace or Internet job advertisement, Deputy Administrator Leo Cacdac admitted that POEA allows licensed recruitment agencies to advertise their job orders on their respective websites or any online job-search companies if the vacancies are covered by manpower requests of accredited employers.

But Cacdac warned that unscrupulous persons have built cheap-looking websites in legitimate online job-search companies or entered several discussion boards or forums that refrequented by OFWs to lure their victims.

Applicants should always be alert and wary of the jobs offered, like “too-good-to-be-true” salaries and other perks including accommodation and bonuses.

POEA records show that for the period January to November 2006 alone, OFW deployment has already reached 1,037,135, or 12.8 percent higher than 919,480 posted in the same period in 2005.

It is the first time in the 30-year history of overseas employment that the one-million mark was breached

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