THE REPORTED disagreement between the chief of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and some disgruntled recruiters mirrored the decay of the country’s labor export program, according to Migrante.
“After years in office, POEA chief Hans Cacdac had seen and realized the extent of the problem of the government labor export program from recruitment to deployment to regulating erring recruitment agencies to combating illegal recruitment and rampant human trafficking operations committed by the very recruitment agencies whom should be helping him prevent and solve these problems,” said John Leonard Monterona, Migrante regional coordinatorin Middle East.
Monterona lauded Cacdac, saying he is “committed to implement laws governing the recruitment of OFWs.”
“He, too, has also seen the need to introduce reforms after receiving numerous cases of abuses, labor rights violations, surging numbers of illegal recruitment and human trafficking victims,” said Monterona.
According to Monterona, Cacdac has suspended recruitment agencies numbering to at least 80 for violating the rules on recruitment and deployment of overseas Filipino workers.
“Thus, he got the ire of some disgruntled recruiters who initiated a campaign to oust him,” Monterona said.
In a statement, Monterona revealed that he once suggested to Cacdac to “utilize maximize the use of social networking sites so that abused or distress OFWs could report immediately and seek assistance to the concerned Philippine embassy and POLO-Owwa officials and to their respective recruitment agencies.”
“Recently, the POEA required recruitment agencies to create their Facebook page in which some recruitment agencies disagreed and contested the said requirement issued by Cacdac,” Monterona said.
“We’ll see if Pres. Aquino will side in favor of his labor export reformist Mr. Cacdac or with the erring recruiters,” Monterona added.
Monterona reported that since they started urging OFWs to report abuse and labor rights violations via social networking sites, they are receiving an average of 10 cases daily compared to 6 way back 2012.
“The numbers of distress and stranded OFWs for instance in Saudi Arabia are worth revealing. Some 200 female wards are at the Bahay Kalinga in Riyadh, while at least 100 female wards are at the holding center of the Saudi Social Welfare Administration (SSWA) aside from the 120 stranded male OFWs at a Philippine embassy-rented villa in Riyadh.”