By Susan G. De Leon, PIA, NCR
QUEZON CITY, May 30 (PIA)–The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) warned immigration consultants and travel agencies against offering overseas employment in the guise of visa assistance.
Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac said that luring clients to avail of their services by promising them overseas employment is tantamount to illegal recruitment under Republic Act No. 8042 as amended by Republic Act No. 10022.
Cacdac said travel and immigration consultancy agencies, if found illegally recruiting overseas Filipino workers, would be closed down and the owners prosecuted.
The POEA chief said that travel agencies and immigration consultants are also not allowed to recruit and deploy Filipino workers unless they have obtained the necessary license to engage in recruitment and placement activities.
POEA Memorandum Circular No. 10, Series of 2003 regulates the participation of foreign and local immigration consultancy agencies in the recruitment and placement of overseas Filipino workers.
Some travel agencies include in their tour packages “the opportunity to hunt for jobs” in the course of their travel abroad.
Others are more blatant, directly offering “overseas jobs” to clients.
Cacdac also discourage jobseekers in engaging the services of immigration consultants that charges exorbitant amount of money in exchange of information and counsel for supposed working visas in countries such as the United States of America, United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada.
He said that information on working or migration to said countries are free and readily available at the following websites :www.cic.gc.ca/english/index-can.asp; www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/; www.immi.gov.au/skilled/; and www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/visas-immigration/working/.
Cacdac said that the documents required by the immigration offices of these countries could only be produced by the applicant and not by the consultant.
The POEA recently padlocked the offices of Firststep Consultancy and Career Development, and LJP Travel Assistance Agency for their illegal recruitment activities. (with POEA report)