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POEA: No placement fees will be collected from Hong Kong-bound domestic workers

February 28, 2013 11:30am
Amid protests by some recruitment agencies, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) insisted that no placement fees will be collected from Filipinos aspiring to work as domestic workers in Hong Kong.

“As for the POEA, we will maintain tightened enforcement of the household workers reform policy, which includes the 'no placement fee' prohibition,” POEA Administrator Hans Cacdac told GMA News Online via text on Thursday.

“We hope the matter between the Philippine recruiters and their counterparts will be resolved,” Cacdac added.

Steve Dailisan reported on "News to Go" on Thursday that recruitment agencies in the Philippines have halted the hiring process of Hong Kong-bound Filipinos in protest of the POEA ruling.

The recruitment agencies explained that without placement fees they could not cover their operational expenses.

Cacdac, on the other hand, said the placement fees — some reaching P80,000 — should be shouldered by the employers not the job applicants.

“Nakukulong sila sa mga ganitong klaseng arrangements na wala na silang choice kung 'di magtrabaho nang magtrabaho para lang makabawi,” Cacdac said.

He stressed that the POEA will not only strictly implement the policy but will also prosecute violators.

“We will cancel the license of any Philippine recruiter who charges a household or service worker placement fees,” Cacdac continued.

Hindrance

Some aspiring overseas Filipino workers (OFW) to Hong Kong also have protested against the POEA's ruling, claiming that it is preventing them from working there.

Annabel Inso said her money was running low and that she immediately needs to land a job in Hong Kong.

“Nauubos na sa pag aapply [ang pera ko]. Wala na kaming mapagkuhanan ng pera. Ngayon umaasa lang kami sa pamilya namin sa probinsya, yung pagpapadala nila,” Inso said.

Sharon Navarro, on the other hand, said the POEA ruling was hindering them from working in Hong Kong.

“Sana po ay mabigyan pansin ang moratorium na ito para po sa aming mga OFW na naiipit ngayon papuntang Hong Kong,” Navarro said.

In talks

Meanwhile, the Society of Hong Kong Accredited Recruiters of the Philippines (SHARP) said that they are in talks with recruitment agencies in Hong Kong about employers paying for placement fees.

SHARP consists of 60 percent of the legal recruitment agencies in the Philippines.

SHARP President Alfredo Palmiery cited the stiff competition among recruitment agencies.

“Ito ay bunga nga ng sinasabi nating cut-throat competition among the recruitment agencies in Hong Kong. Sa kagustuhan nilang makuha ang mas maraming employer, nag-ooffer sila ng mas mababang service fee,” Palmiery explained.

“Kaya nga ang nagiging resulta ipapasa sa workers,” he added.

There are 129,575 Filipinos in Hong Kong based on 2011 data from the POEA. - VVP, GMA News
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