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Sep
17
2014

PHL and HK Labor Officials talked about OFW Placement Fee Issue

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Placement fee issues and household workers’ complaints against their employers were raised by Philippine labor officials in a meeting held with the Hong Kong labor officials.

Their discussion focused on the need to cooperate with each other in addressing the concerns of Filipino household service workers in Hong Kong, particularly on placement fee issues and workers’ complaints against their employers,” Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz said.

The Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) Attaché Manuel Roldan and Consul General Bernardita Casalla met with Hong Kong Labour Department Commissioner Donald Tong, Deputy Commissioner Byron Ng, Assistant Commissioner Nicholas Chan and senior administrative officer Queenie Wong to discuss matters that concern OFWs in Hong Kong.

Labor Attaché Roldan reported that they’ve also explained the Philippine procedure of hiring Filipino workers, the ‘no-placement fee’ policy, the process of accrediting Hong Kong-based employment agencies with the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and their responsibilities to the workers hired.

Consul General Casalla informed them about the rampant practice of Hong Kong-based agencies of collecting placement fees from workers which is a violation of the Hong Kong laws, allowing only a service fee of 10 percent from the worker’s first month’s salary.

They also added that upon arrival of OFWs in Hong Kong, especially household service workers or HSWs, they are brought by the agency to a Hong Kong lending company for them to sign a loan document which they had to pay through monthly installment from five to seven months in different 7-eleven branches. OFWs are also told to open a bank account, but with the ATM card to be surrendered to the agencies. They can only get hold of their atm after the amount of service fee for the month has been deducted.

Roldan said to Hong Kong labor officials that these processes, together with other complaints by OFWs like illegal recruitment and abuse, often remain unreported.

Commissioner Tong encourages workers to report complaints against their employers to Hong Kong Labour Department. While complaints against their agencies are to be reported to the Employment Agency Administration. These will be used as basis to conduct inspection and investigation regarding the matter.

Casalla raised a problem regarding the availablity of OFWs to complain, because Sunday is their only free time, when the Labor Department is closed. She then suggested that the Philippine Consulate can accept complaints from OFWs and summarize it before forwarding it to the Hong Kong Labour Department. Tong welcomes the idea of case-referral ssytem and said it will be subject for further discussion.

Through the case-referral system, the availability of OFWs to seek redress for their grievances and of Hong Kong authorities to hear them will no longer be an isse,” said Baldoz.

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Sep
11
2014

Job fair for repatriated OFWs to be held in Lingayen

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The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Region I will hold a job fair for repatriated OFWs this weekend at the Provincial Employment Service Office (PESO) in Pangasinan. This special job fair will be held on September 12-13, 2014.

job fair image thumbnail

Pangasinan Regional Director Grace Ursua reported to DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz of the planned job fair led by Pangasinan PESO Manager Alex Ferrer. Pangasinan PESO said they had invited local companies and overseas placement agencies that charges no placement fees to join the special job fair, which aims to ‘provide employment services to OFWs displaced due to crisis or emergency situations in Libya, Syria, Israel, Iraq and other countries’.

DOLE Secretary Baldoz hailed the DOLE Regional Office and PESO Pangasinan for taking the action to hold the job fair adding that it will be helpful for OFWs who are looking for other jobs whether locally or overseas after what they’ve been through.

 

For more overseas jobs, you can also visit www.workabroad.ph

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Dec
4
2013

In-Demand Hard to Fill Jobs,Job-Generating Industries

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What are the most in-demand occupations in the Philippines? What are the jobs with many vacancies but competition is low because there are few qualified applicants? What are the industries or companies that are needing the most number of workers?

The recent updates in Project JobsFit: DOLE 2020 Vision, tries to provide insights to the said questions of jobseekers.  According to the press release published in the DOLE’s official, website, there are 13 Key Employment Generators (KEGs) in the Philippines:

Agribusiness, Construction, Information Technology/Business Process Management, Health and Wellness, Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism, Wholesale and Retail Trade, Banking and Finance, Mining, Transport and Logistics, Manufacturing Ownership, Dwellings and Real Estate, Education, Power and Utilities

The government agency also identified 237 in-demand occupations. From this list, there are occupations are identified as cross-cutting occupations, which means it appears in more than one industry: Accountant, Appraiser, Cashier, Checker, Driver, Machine Operator, Mechanical Technician, Security Guard, Teller, Welder

There are also 138 hard-to-fill occupations, and from this list 8 occupations are seen to recur across all of the KEGS:
Chemist, CNC Machinist, Computer Programmer, Geologist, Heavy Equipment Operator, Medical Technologist, Pharmacist, and Surveyor.

Search for Job Openings in the Philippines Here. 

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Jul
2
2013

All-Girl Team to Investigate Sex Trade in Kuwait

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An all-female team recently arrived in Kuwait for the investigation of the “sex for flight” allegations of some distressed overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in the Middle East.

This team was organized by the Labor Department and is composed of Atty. Leah Fortuna of DOLE, Atty. Rosemarie Duquez of the POEA, and Atty. Edna Yasay of the DFA. Their arrival was welcomed by David Des Dicang, labor attaché in Kuwait, Florencia Ardivilla, assistant labor attache and Norlita Lugto, welfare officer.

The team would gather evidence to prove the complain against a temporary staff of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) that supposedly offered plane tickets to the Philippines to an OFW in trouble in exchange for sex.

The team would also visit Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to gather information about the sexual harassment  allegations against assistant labor attaché, Antonio Villafuerte.

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Published in: OFW News
Feb
25
2013

What To Do In Case of Employment Contract Substitution

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Question: What shall I do if the recruitment agency asked me to sign a different contract from the first contract I signed?  Is this legal?

DOLE Answer: It depends. This is called contract substitution, which is legal if the terms and conditions of the new contract are superior to the first contract. Otherwise, if the new contract is less beneficial to you, that is illegal.

If the recruiter forces you to sign an inferior contract before you leave the country, be sure to get a copy and file a complaint at the POEA Anti-Illegal Recruitment Branch, or call the POEA Hotline at 722-1144 or 722-1155.

If this happens at the airport before your flight, immediately inform the Labor Assistance Center found in all international airports or any security personnel in the vicinity.

This is an excerpt from a handbook provided by the Department of Labor and Employment entitled, “Employment Guide to Students and Jobseekers.” The said handbook that contains useful information for Filipino job-hunters can be downloaded here:

DOLE’s “Employment Guide to Students and Jobseekers” :
Free Download

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Published in: OFW Tips and Guides


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