POEA chief Bernard Olalia reported that on account of privacy and confidentiality, some foreign employers and recruitment agencies are not reporting relevant information about the Filipino workers they are employing.
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Foreign employers of OFWs not complying with POEA rules
Mayen Jaymalin (The Philippine Star) - November 8, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The government is still unable to monitor the condition of all Filipino workers abroad due to the refusal of some foreign employers and recruitment agencies to comply with hiring regulations of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration.

POEA chief Bernard Olalia reported that on account of privacy and confidentiality, some foreign employers and recruitment agencies are not reporting relevant information about the Filipino workers they are employing.          

Olalia reminded recruitment and manning agencies as well as foreign employers and principals that they are mandated under POEA regulations to report the status, condition or significant events relating to their hired workers.

“Incomplete reports are deemed as not compliant with POEA rules and other issuances and data privacy should not be a reason for their non-compliance,” Olalia stressed.         

Olalia pointed out that processing of personal information about overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) is provided under existing laws. 

The Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act 10173 or the Data Privacy Act of 2012, he said, allows the processing of personal information when “the processing is necessary to protect vitally important interests of the data subject, including his or her life and health; and the processing of personal information is necessary for the fulfillment of the constitutional or statutory mandate of a public authority.”

Olalia further noted that Republic Act 8042 mandates the POEA to formulate and implement a system for promoting and monitoring the overseas employment of Filipino workers, taking into consideration their welfare and the domestic manpower requirements.

“Failure to report on the status of employment of an OFW is a prohibited act under Republic Act 8042,” Olalia said.

He said POEA may impose corresponding penalties against agencies and foreign employers who fail to comply with the regulation.

Failure to monitor and report the status, condition or significant events relating to its hired worker carries a penalty of suspension from participation in the overseas employment program for six months to one year on the first offense and permanent disqualification in the overseas employment and permanent disqualification and delisting from the roster of accredited principals/employers on the second offense.

OWWA releases P43-M rebate to OFWs

More Filipinos abroad, meanwhile, are now availing themselves of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA)’s rebate program.

OWWA chief Hans Cacdac reported that the agency has released P43 million since the start of the rebate program’s implementation in September. 

“We have 17,214 beneficiaries who have received rebate benefit with P43,002,888 released so far,” Cacdac disclosed.

Cacdac further reported that among the total beneficiaries, 186 have opted to donate their rebate for the education of distressed OFWs.

OWWA previously allocated P1 billion for the distribution of rebates to more than half a million members.

Qualified OFWs can claim a minimum of P941.25 up to P13,177.50 depending on the number of their contributions. The computation of the amount is based on the capability of the agency to implement the rebate program without negatively affecting its regular programs and services.

OFWs who have been members of the agency for at least 10 years with at least five or more contributions made as of Dec. 31, 2017 are qualified to avail themselves of the rebate.

BERNARD OLALIA POEA
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