Department of Labor Employment ordered anew the suspension of the acceptance and processing of applications for Overseas Employment Certificates for all overseas Filipino workers.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III yesterday ordered a 15-day suspension, while officials look into reports of illegal recruitment activities victimizing overseas Filipino workers.
“We are taking this important action in view of the persistent reports of illegal recruitment activities including direct hires, and in order to protect the public from the pernicious activities of certain unscrupulous individuals preying on our OFWs,” Bello said.
He suspended the processing and issuance of OECs early this year due to reported anomalies involving some people at the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration.
In Department Order No. 185, all OFWs including direct hires are covered by the order.
However, those workers who are being hired by international organizations, members of diplomatic corps, which includes members of royal families, and sea-based recruitment agencies, are excluded from the suspension.
Bello added that a team will be created to conduct investigations on the reported anomalies and provide him recommendations for immediate actions to prevent OFWs from being victims of anomalous schemes.
The order, which will be implemented by the POEA for compliance by all land-based private recruitment agencies takes effect from Nov. 13 to Dec. 1 subject to extension as circumstances may require.