15-day Suspension of Processing and Release of Employment Contracts for OFWs takes effect starting Nov 13

The hot issue surrounding the allegedly increasing activities of shady “recruitment agencies” who take advantage of Filipinos who are looking to work abroad prompted the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to have the processing and release of new Overseas Employment Certificates (OEC) for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) be temporarily put on hold for 15 days starting Nov. 13 until Dec. 1, 2017.

DOLE issued the temporary suspension of the processing and release of OECs under the Department Order No. 185 to launch investigative countermeasures to monitor and rectify illegal recruitment activities.

By KC Wong, CC BY-SA 2.0 (Source: Flickr)

DOLE temporarily puts the Processing and Release of OECs for OFWs on hold starting Nov 13

Exempted from this order are direct hires from international agencies and representatives of political groups such as sea-based organizations and affiliates of the royal families. Meanwhile, all land-based private recruitment agencies under the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) are expected to strictly comply with the said order.

While this development came in as a shock to many employment agencies, the call for these groups to coordinate with employers is highly emphasized by DOLE to make necessary arrangements with their clients and pending employees to accommodate the new adjustment.

In Singapore alone, some 180,000 Filipinos are expected to fill in job positions in various work sectors which include nurses and IT professionals. The suspension does not only apply to domestic helpers but to all outgoing professionals who are aiming to land a work contract abroad.

The 15-day suspension will pave way for necessary investigations to take place in order to discover the root cause of these unscrupulous activities which will be the basis for the department’s recommendations and subsequent actions regarding the matter moving forward.