The Philippine Overseas Labour Office (POLO) has been alarmed by new ways of illegal recruitment, including using the names of manpower agencies in Qatar, to hire housemaids from the Philippines.
Labour Attaché David Des Dicang said three local manpower agencies have filed complaints to POLO, claiming to have their names and details used by some manpower agencies in the Philippines without their knowledge, to deploy Filipina housemaids to Qatar.
For a Filipina housemaid to work in Qatar, a tie-up between a manpower agency in the Philippines and a local agency is a major requirement.
Eleven housemaids have been recruited through this modus operandi, based on the complaints POLO has received since November, according to Dicang.
He also revealed that some Filipino expatriates are involved in the modus operandi either acting as middlemen between the two agencies or directly transacting with prospective employers in Qatar.
Many employers have also lodged complaints to POLO against these individuals, claiming they were not provided with the housemaids they had requested despite paying them the agreed amount for the recruitment process.
They later learnt that the housemaids promised to them were provided to other employers.
“We need to expose these illegal ways of recruitment to warn the public because ultimately, the effect is on the welfare of our people. This has to stop,” Dicang said.
He said the cases have been forwarded to Philippine Overseas Employment Organisation (POEA) to initiate legal proceedings against the recruiters.
He urged people to be cautious over applying to work as housemaids in Qatar and ensure they do not fall prey to illegal recruiters.
“The workers and their families should understand the terms and conditions of employment and make sure the agency in the Philippines they are dealing with is legitimate and has a tie-up with another legitimate agency in Qatar,” he said.
The Philippine government has been keen to protect Filipina housemaids overseas and has implemented stringent policies. Eight years ago, it introduced the Household Service Workers Policy Reform Package to professionalise domestic work and minimise Filipina housemaids’ the vulnerabilities.
During her visit to Qatar, Philippine Labour Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz warned that erring manpower agencies and employers would face action, including penalties. (Source / Image)
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