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Philippines – Crackdown on illegal staffing agencies

28 December 2012

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (‘POEA’) has cancelled the license of Philquest International Management and Service Contractor for charging excessive placement fees and other recruitment violations. The agency was also ordered to refund the amount of US$1,600 to the complainant.

POEA administrator, Hans Leo Cacdac, has reminded job applicants that a recruitment agency is not allowed to engage in any recruitment activity while its license is cancelled or suspended. We reported earlier this month that the POEA had recently closed the offices of MYM International Manpower Agency for recruiting overseas Filipino workers without a license, which had been cancelled in May 2010. MYM was still actively recruiting Filipino workers for supposed deployment abroad over two years after its licence was removed. In a surveillance operation, a POEA officer posed as an applicant and was offered a job as a family driver in Saudi Arabia with a monthly salary of PHP15,000 (approximately €274). The recruitment agency, at the time of the operation, also recruited gym instructors with a salary of PHP30,000 per month (approximately €549). Applicants are charged PHP15,000 for a placement fee and PHP2,500 for medical examination.

As a result of the closure order, the name of MYM International Manpower Agency and all the responsible officers are now included in the list of persons and establishments with derogatory record, and are disqualified from participating in any overseas recruitment programme of the government.

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