Graduates, bewareof illegal recruiters and traffickers

DIRECT FROM THE LABOR FRONT - Atty Josephus B Jimenez - The Freeman

In the jungles called job markets are lurking many predators that are poised to attack new graduates with merciless ferocity. The danger with too much eagerness among some job seekers is the usual propensity to believe all sorts of deceits and schemes peddled by the many false prophets in the labor markets who promise the moon and the stars to young and idealistic job hunters. The young and restless Generation graduates, based on empirical data and many anecdotal evidence, are prone to be impulsive and reckless in their disposition and usually have the tendency to take anybody's words hook, line, and sinker. The results may be traumatic to neophytes who are virgin entrants into the labor market.

It is the legal duty of the DOLE, specifically, its Bureau of Local Employment, as well as the PESOs (Public Employment Services Offices) of, and the POEA to forewarn the public, especially about recruiters for foreign jobs. It is also the moral obligation of the civil society, the mass media, as well as the academe and the Church to provide support to the intricate task of job hunting. The police and the NBI should also have their hands on the deck because they have records of what the shenanigans in the recruitment industry are and who the notorious rascals and scalawags are. Of course, not to be unfair, there are a few good eggs in recruitment. But you can count them by the fingers in one hand.

There are recruiters who would promise job hunters of high-paying jobs abroad, with handsome perks and benefits. They paint beautiful scenarios of very professional and caring employers and cozy working environment. They do not disclose the hidden costs and the many occupational and situational risks and hazards. They do not even have a clear picture of the culture and the political situation in the work site and the host country. How could they tell the job applicants of things that they themselves do not know, or are not familiar with. There are many recruiters who are only after the profit without really considering the great hazards attendant to a specific job. They require big sums of money by way of placement fees, when, in fact, the law only allows an equivalent of a month's salary as the maximum placement fee.

Illegal recruiters include not only the unlicensed agencies that have the temerity to deploy people as tourists and then abandon them in the host countries. There are licensed agencies which dare to recruit without duly-approved job orders. The others have job orders with lesser number of approved positions, say, only 100 machine operators, and yet, these recruiters try to entice 500 and get money from all these applicants. Many of the agencies are compelling applicants to use their chosen medical clinics for physical examinations, and their chosen PDOS (Pre-departure Orientation Seminars) providers for the required orientation sessions. These acts also constitute illegal recruitment. Also, when agencies refer job applicants to preferred money lending centers. That too, constitute illegal recruitment.

The failure to deploy within an agreed reasonable time is also illegal recruitment. The refusal to return the placement money, within a reasonable period, also constitutes a prohibited act under the law. The Labor Code, which originally outlines the law on illegal recruitment, had been amended, a number of times, more significantly by RA 8042, or the Migrant Workers' Act, and RA 10022, which makes the law more stringent. Under prevailing jurisprudence, an accused of illegal recruitment can also be prosecuted and accused of two more crimes, namely, for estafa and for illegal trafficking in person, for one and the same act. Hundreds had been convicted but the nefarious practices continue unabated due to the lure of money, money, money.

Therefore, our young graduates, who are new entrants into the labor force, should be amply warned, protected and given support in their quest for jobs and livelihood. We cannot leave them alone to the predators lurking in the jungles of modern labor markets. The State and civil society should join hands in covering them from these predators. This is the least that we can do to our young graduates.

vuukle comment












  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with