September 21, 2017, 8:06 pm
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POEA looks into allegations of extortion on OFWs

THE Labor department yesterday said the processing of new direct hired overseas Filipino workers may resume this week after the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration completes its investigation on the alleged involvement of some of its personnel in illegal activities on the deployment of OFWs.

Labor Undersecretary for Employment and Policy Support Dominador Say said if the findings of the probe are released today or Tuesday, the processing may resume by Friday.

He said that he discussed the matter with POEA officials last Saturday and was the results of the probe would immediately be sent to the Labor department.

Say said once the department gets the report, they would study its recommendations before making any announcement, including the liability, if any, of the personnel involved in the allegedly anomalous practice that led Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III to temporarily stop the processing of new direct hired OFWs last month.

“There will be somebody from the DOLE who will conduct a review on the findings. It will also depend on the recommendations since we don’t know it yet. It’s only fact-finding),” Say said.

Say earlier said that some of the suspected fixers at the POEA have been extorting P15,000 to P17,000 so that even applicants who are not qualified can be deployed and given overseas employment certificates.

Under POEA rules, those allowed to directly hire OFWs are members of the diplomatic corps, international organizations, heads of states and government officials with the rank of deputy minister, and other employers or entities allowed by the Labor secretary. -- Ashzel Hachero
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