Migrante International:

Prosecute agencies engaged in illegal recruitmentt


Posted:L October 23, 2009



Protest and filing of case against illegal recruitment agencies by OFWs from Maldives, Riyadh, Libya and Taiwan in POEA

Photos courtesy of Migrante International



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.###



No to Conejos appointment to Geneva post - Migrante

A global alliance of Filipino migrant workers groups criticized the Arroyo administration’s expected move to appoint Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Undersecretary Esteban Conejos as Philippine Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva even without undergoing confirmation process at the Commission on Appointments.

Calling the UN appointment as Conejos’ “consolation prize from Mrs. Arroyo,” Migrante International however said Conejos’ appointment to the UN post will not provide any consolation for Filipinos most especially the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).

“Conejos’ appointment to the United Nations is a face-saving measure for Mrs. Arroyo and Usec. Conejos after he sorely failed to win the Deputy Director General position at the International Organization for Migration (IOM) last year,” said Garry Martinez, Migrante International Chairperson.

Martinez noted that “it was no less than Arroyo herself” who led the Philippines’ campaign to help Conejos win the IOM (International Organization for Migration) seat in 2008. He however, lost to Ambassador Laura Thompson Chacón of Costa Rica last June 2009.

“It isn’t a surprise for us if Mrs. Arroyo, in her desperation to reward Conejos for his exemplary slave trading skills as Chairperson of the 2nd Global Forum on Migration and Development held in Manila last year, is determined to give Conejos the juicy UN post even if this would mean violating constitutional provisions on diplomatic appointments,” he said.

Philippine Foreign Service officers were up in arms recently and were particularly riled at Malacanang’s “pernicious practice of by-passing the confirmation process for appointees,” saying that it “has trivialized the constitutional requirement of confirmation of ambassadors.”

John Leonard Monterona, Migrante Middle-East Coordinator, meanwhile expressed support to UNIFORS (Union of Foreign Service Officers) “as they have all the right to protect their ranks against Arroyo’s gross abuse of her appointing power.

“Migrante International vows to block Conejos’ appointment to the UN as we have successfully done when we led international efforts to prevent him from securing a seat at the IOM. We strongly believe that Conejos is a walking menace and a threat to the lives and livelihood of migrant workers and their families worldwide and that he does not even deserve even his current position as Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs.” Martinez said. ###