Catanduanes tightens policies against illegal recruitment

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Photo courtesy en.wikipilipinas.org
Photo courtesy en.wikipilipinas.org

VIRAC, Catanduanes – The provincial legislative board recently enacted an ordinance regulating the recruitment by manpower services in the island province for both local and foreign placement.

Citing a Constitutional declaration that labor is a primary social economic force that deserves the protection of its rights and the promotion of the workers’ welfare, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) passed the ordinance to protect local job seekers from being victimized by malpractices of recruitment agencies.

Board member Jose Romeo Francisco, the principal author of the ordinance, on Monday said that private recruitment agencies use to prey on people’s ignorance, poverty and lack of access to information in their illegal recruitment activities.

Francisco said even without valid license or authority as stipulated under the Labor Code of the Philippines, some recruitment agencies have engaged in various acts, such as canvassing, enlisting, contracting, transporting, utilizing, hiring or procuring workers.

These activities that include referring, contract services, promising or advertising for employment, locally or abroad, whether for profit or not should be stopped, Francisco said.

He also cited concerned international labor unions’ observation that the Philippines has been having a high rate of violation of human trafficking and illegal recruitment activities, in which many Filipinos end up victimized by international drug syndicates, sex tourism or slavery and child prostitution.

“The ordinance is the response of the provincial government to the dire need to protect its constituents against unscrupulous recruiters by way of regulating manpower recruitment activities in the locality through a vibrant, dynamic and meaningful role of the local government,” the board member said.

Passed unanimously, the legislative measure is titled “An ordinance regulating the recruitment of manpower services by authorized and licensed recruitment agencies for local or abroad based workers in the province of Catanduanes.”

Its salient provisions mandate stringent regulations that must be complied with by the recruitment agencies before they are allowed to take in and deploy somewhere else workers from the province, Francisco added. (PNA)

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