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DOLE asks OFWs to be vigilant against illegal recruitment, human trafficking

December 5, 2012 9:23pm
Labor Department Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz commended efforts by one of the country’s overseas labor offices for the efficient manner it helps victims of human trafficking and illegal recruitment. She also reiterated overseas Filipinos workers should report such cases.

According to a DOLE statement, Baldoz praised the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Jordan as the number of distressed OFWs staying at its Filipino Workers’ Resource Center (FWRCs) in Amman has decreased.

According to Baldoz, distressed OFWs are often victims of human trafficking and illegal recruitment.

“To victims: don’t hesitate to go to our Filipino Workers’ Resource Centers in the countries where you work or are stranded and distressed. These FWRCs, operated by our POLOs, never hesitate in providing victim-OFWs with safe refuge,” Baldoz said.

“Considering that (distressed OFWs) are mostly disadvantaged household service workers, we should exert utmost effort to assist them and repatriate them safely and speedily,” she also said.

To avoid peril and abuse, Baldoz advised OFWs to coordinate with the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), and various POLOs. (List of POLOs:

She also said possible illegal recruiters and human traffickers should be reported at “the slightest sign” of suspicion.

In May, DOLE, through a department circular, issued a manual that contains step-by-step procedures on how POLOs, POEA or DOLE Regional or Field Offices should handle complaints or cases.

It also provides field implementers guidelines in the following:

- receipt of the case
- preliminary evaluation; inspection, surveillance, entrapment and arrest
- case conference and rescue operation in case a child/children are victims
- reintegration and after care of victims
- docketing
- legal assistance and counseling towards the filing of the case
- in the existence of probable cause for the filing of criminal and administrative case on illegal recruitment, trafficking in persons, and child labor

According to the statement, 69 OFWs stayed at Jordan’s FWRC last November, a decrease from October's 109. Furthermore, the number is expected to be reduced to 32 soon, as 37 of the OFWs are awaiting repatriation to the Philippines. — DVM, GMA News
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