In response to the issues of illegal recruiters and negligence of some recruitment agencies for workers abroad, President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered that all recruitment of Filipinos for employment abroad be managed and supervised by the Philippine government. He said this is to protect overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from abusive recruitment agencies.
Duterte stressed, “Bawal na ang recruitment sa labas. Kung gusto nila…under the supervision of government and walang horrendous charges, hindi ako papayag nang ganoon,” He said this on Friday, July 12, during a thanksgiving event for OFWs in Quezon City.
There will be a creation of the Department for OFWs, which he envisions to be operational in December. This department will handle all OFW-related concerns including the issuance of permit for OFWs to be able to work abroad.
“Government supervision and control, because what is happening and has been happening is not acceptable to the Filipino now,” he said to loud cheers from OFW audience.
Relatively, he gave a warning to abusive recruitment agencies that he will hunt them down. “Kayong mga recruitment, bilang ang mga araw ‘nyo. ‘Pag hindi ko kayo nadala sa usapan na maganda, brasuhan tayo. ‘Pag nagbrasuhan tayo, kayo ang matatalo,” warned Duterte.
Some recruitment agencies have made the lives of many OFWs miserable by promising them high salaries, security while working abroad, protection, and assistance which they failed to deliver. Other agencies have imposed high fees for their services making OFWs trapped in debts.
Duterte is a supporter of OFWs as evidenced by his willingness to create a department dedicated to OFWs since his presidential campaign and when he assumed the presidency in 2016.
Though he wanted this as soon as possible, creating the department will have to go through process such as the filing and enactment of a law that will create it. – LMI