PRESIDENT Duterte yesterday ordered the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Labor and Employment, and other agencies to intensify government’s campaign against the illegal recruitment of Filipinos for work overseas.
The President issued the order in Malacañang at the awarding ceremony for the 2018 Presidential Child-Friendly Municipalities and Cities Municipalities, during which he recalled that two mothers have sought his help after their three minor children were recruited to work in a country in the Middle East.
Duterte said the children, two of them aged 17 and the third 16, were able to leave the country using falsified documents. He said they were later reported missing.
Addressing Social Welfare Secretary Rolando Bautista, a former Army chief, Duterte said, “Since you are a military man, I hope you can come up with a structure, a bigger one, to go after itong (this) recruitment. And so goes for the Department of Labor and everybody.
My orders are really to get them. You should know where to fish for them. And return them to the water because they are fish,” he said.
The President reminded everyone that illegal recruitment is a non-bailable offense.
Duterte lamented that many Filipinos still try to find work abroad.
He said the problem is that in some countries in the Middle East, there are “tribes” that treat recruited workers as slaves. This means the employee ends up working for the whole family as a maid and in some cases even subjected to physical and sexual abuse, he said.
The President repeated the story about the mothers and the recruited minors at awarding ceremony for the 2019 Model Overseas Filipino Worker Family, also in Malacañang.