MANILA -- The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Friday ordered anew the suspension of the acceptance and processing of applications for Overseas Employment Certificates (OEC) for all overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) due to reports of illegal recruitment activities victimizing Filipino workers.
In Department Order No. 185, issued by DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III, all OFWs, including direct hires are covered by the order.
The order, which will be effective starting Nov. 13 to Dec. 1, 2017, was issued to give officials time to look into reports of illegal recruitment activities.
“We are taking this important action in view of the persistent reports of illegal recruitment activities including direct hires, and in order to protect the public from the pernicious activities of certain unscrupulous individuals preying on our OFWs,” Bello said in a statement.
Early this year, the labor chief suspended the processing and issuance of OECs due to reported anomalies involving some people at the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).
Bello noted that workers who are being hired by international organizations, members of diplomatic corps, which includes members of royal families, and sea-based recruitment agencies, are not covered by the suspension.
The DOLE chief added that a team will be created to conduct investigations on the reported anomalies and provide him recommendations for immediate actions to prevent OFWs from being victims of anomalous schemes.
The order, which will be implemented by the POEA for compliance by all land-based private recruitment agencies will be effective for 15 working days subject to extension as circumstances may require. (PNA)