POEA warns OFWs vs consultancy firms

Posted at 02/12/2014 1:32 AM | Updated as of 02/12/2014 3:15 PM

MANILA – The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) on Tuesday warned the public against engaging the services of consultancy firms to get jobs overseas.

According to the POEA administrator Hans Cacdac, it has been 10 years since they stopped giving licenses to visa consultancy firms to recruit jobseekers.

“In general, immigration consultancy can be a legal venture pero iligal na kung may job offer. Dun kami nagre-raid,” he said.

Just last month, the POEA closed down the Global Caritas Consultancy and Visa services, after it was found to have been recruiting overseas Filipino workers.

According to Cacdac, the firm was asking P50,000 as medical, visa processing and placement fees for caregivers, butchers and farmers bound for Canada.

Most victims are workers in the health sector, it was learned.

“Nasa health sector (ang mga biktima) na gustong pumunta sa US, Canada at New Zealand. Nagpa-package ng attractive job offers, di pala totoo,” Cacdac said.

POEA has closed down around 17 consultancy firms in the last two years.

“Dapat legal kasi baka iligal… takot kami,” Imelda Ismael, a nursing applicant said.

Another nursing applicant, Reyda Mohammad, said, “Maraming fixer-fixer, buti na ang nakakasigurado.”

Meanwhile, the POEA is advising applicants who use the services of visa consultancy firms not to make any more transactions once they have been offered jobs.

“'Wag nang makipag-transaksyon kapag inaalok na ng trabaho abroad. Huwag basta-basta makipag-transaksyon sa internet. Magtanong sa poea at agad i-report kung may makitang lumalabag sa batas,” Cacdac said. -- report from Jasmin Romero, ABS-CBN News