Time To Reform The POEA

It seems that this administration never runs out of gimmicks to extract money from our poor OFWs. After our OFWs successfully thwarted the POEA’s MC no. 4, they are now eying the exorbitant “training fees” being charged by employment agencies. Note that by law, these agencies are not supposed to charge our OFWs placement fees. There are however certain fees that the OFW should pay. There is the medical and processing fees for their travel documents.

Well it seems that the government was never sincere with its programs. The government inserted a training program for GMA’s Super Maids. The program actually is good if it would improve the knowhow of our migrant domestic helpers. The program started with fees ranging from P5,000 to about P10,000 per trainee. The POEA to my mind should have regulated this from the very start. Not only does this burden our OFWs but it seems that recruitment agencies have found a way to replace the exorbitant processing fees which was taken away from them.

No wonder we still see applicants mortgaging their properties just to be able to seek employment abroad. The government should protect applicants from unscrupulous agencies who exploit our countrymen. Now, recruitment agencies and their partner training centers charge applicants up to P45,000 for the Supermaid training program. Aside from this training fee, the applicant is also asked to pay another P1,000 for placement assessment. Mind you, the training fee is not regulated and the training centers have the discretion of how much their training fee would be.

I think the POEA should be the only agency that should handle recruitment. I consider these recruitment agencies to be leeches which continue to suck the “blood” of our OFWs. The recruitment agencies have ways of burying our OFWs in debt. Out of desperation, applicants have no choice but to allow themselves to be enslaved by these agencies. More often than not, these agencies could not even protect our OFWs. At least if our OFWs only deal with the POEA, then every worker is protected and that dealings would be simpler as everything is regulated.

Of course we are all aware why recruitment agencies exist, they are protected by no other than our public serving politicians. Theft and human trafficking is legalized and exploitation is the norm. If GMA is sincere, centralizing and redefining the POEA’s role is a must. Seeking assistance would be simpler and the process hastened. With our OFWs’ remittances propping up our economy, unburdening and protecting our OFWs should the first on the list. The present system is full of loopholes which recruitment agencies take advantage of. So once and for all, government should arrest the situation and put its foot down. The POEA is there for our OFWs’ protection, it is not there to help recruitment agencies make a killing on our hapless OFWs.


2 Responses to “Time To Reform The POEA”

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  2. March 25, 2013 at 11:23 pm

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