The Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Geneva has recommended to the Department of Labor of Employment the suspension of processing of papers of overseas Filipino workers in Poland in connection with the alleged irregularities by recruiters.
Based on the report of POLO-Geneva labor attaché Cheryl Daytec has recommended to DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III, that the Philippines should suspend sending Filipinos to Poland until said issues are resolved.
“Considering the contract substitution and alleged irregularities committed by recruiters of OFWs for deployment in Poland is seemingly prevalent and not yet resolved, POLO-Geneva recommends the suspension of the processing of papers of OFWs bound to Poland until the POEA (Philippine Overseas Employment Administration) will have developed a working regulatory framework to prevent exploitative practices of PRAs (Philippine Recruitment Agencies) and their Polish principals,” she said in her report dated Nov. 21 released on Monday.
The report also recommended to the POEA to conduct a probe on the claims of OFWs, such as the collection of supposed excessive fees by the recruitment agency.
“POLO-Geneva also strongly recommends that POEA investigate the climax of workers, including the collection of excessive processing fees without issuing receipts, against Gold Icon Recruitment and Promotion Inc. And also to assist the workers in collecting the alleged illegal exactions from the agency, if proven, which is already suspended for documents processing as of 23 October 2019,” the report added.
The recommendations were reached after the POLO-Geneva received successive appeals for assistance from OFWs in distress in Poland during the months of October and November.
The latest appeals came from workers recruited by the said firm, to work for HR Motives in Poland.
The report said the workers claimed that the Polish principal is an independent contractor which would deploy them to perform jobs for certain entities or individuals.
They also complained that Gold Icon collected at least P269,000 from them as processing fees and no receipts were issued.
The OFWs eventually escaped from HR Motives.
She also reported that based on POEA records, the incidence of absconding is rising. As of Oct. 9, there have been cases of 135 abscondees.