This was the challenge issued by Migrante International, together with repatriated workers from the Annasban company in Riyadh and the construction workers from a Filipino-owned Ashley Alexis Company in Maldives who trooped to the POEA to file mass complaints against their respective recruitment agencies.
The repatriated workers have experienced gross violations in their employment contracts, poor working condition and non-payment of their wages. They are seeking to file administrative complaints against their agencies as part of the measures they intend to take in their pursuit of justice. They are also fighting to bring their co-workers still stranded abroad home to the Philippines.
“Through these complaints, we are putting the POEA on notice that we shall be closely monitoring how they will respond to these cases,” Garry Martinez, chairperson of the largest organization of Filipino migrants, declared. “Time and again, we have seen how POEA decisions have favored recruitment agencies more than OFWs.”
Martinez cited the Annasban company as one of the companies which seem to be favored by the POEA. The company has gained some notoriety among OFWs here and in Riyadh because it has been the subject of many complaints of gross violations of contracts in the past and yet has not been given any sanctions at all by the POEA.
“What is going on in the POEA? Why can recruitment agencies such as these continue to ply their evil deeds, right under the noses of POEA officials? Why are there so many illegal recruitment cases victimizing thousands of OFWs?” queried Martinez.
“We have had enough! This time, we will be setting up a POEA Watch. We shall make a count of how many recruitment agencies with various cases of illegal recruitment the POEA has allowed to go unpunished! The public will definitely hear about this,” Martinez continued.
The organization is now consulting lawyers’ groups about the filing of a case against the inaction of POEA officials on illegal recruitment cases.###