MIGRANT Workers Secretary Susan Ople Friday reminded job applicants to deal only with legitimate recruitment agencies as she ordered the closure of a travel consultancy agency offering jobs in Malta and Poland.
Ople personally led a team from the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) in closing down on Friday the offices of OVM Visa Assistance and Travel Consultancy located at Barangay Pasong Tamo in Quezon City.
The consultancy firm is not listed as a licensed recruitment agency.
“To the public, please report to the DMW any travel or consultancy agency recruiting workers for abroad. These are clear violations of the anti-illegal recruitment law,” Ople said.
The closure operation followed a complaint filed by job applicant “Denise” who requested assistance from the DMW’s Migrant Workers’ Protection Bureau (MWPB).
Surveillance operations conducted by the DMW-MWPB revealed that OVM offered jobs as kitchen helpers, housekeepers, waiters and waitresses in Malta and Poland.
An employee of OVM had told a DMW operative that the company requires jobseekers to submit their passport and biodata, and pay as much as P420,000 in processing fees. Applicants were told they need to pay a down payment of P60,000 upon submission of the requirements.
Once a work permit is issued, the applicant is required to pay an additional P100,000, while the balance should be paid in installments until the full amount is covered. Jobseekers were told to wait for six to seven months before they are deployed overseas.
Charges of illegal recruitment are being readied against Vilma Rosario, the owner of the travel agency, and its employees.
The DMW is also recommending the cancellation of the agency’s business permit by the Quezon City local government and for the Department of Trade and Industry to cancel its certificate of business name registration.
The DMW-MWPB is asking victims of the illegal recruitment agency to contact it directly through it hotline: +63 2 8722-1192 or its Facebook page at Log in to Facebook so the DMW can assist them in filing their complaints.