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Immigration consultants cannot recruit OFWs

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration cautioned job applicants anew to avoid engaging the services of self-styled immigration consultants, if their real intention is to get employed in another country.
Deputy Administrator Amuerfina R. Reyes issued the warning as the POEA closed down the office of First World Migration with office address at DRT Highway, Baliuag, Bulacan which was found to have been engaged in the recruitment of OFWs without the proper authorization or license from the government.

POEA Memorandum Circular No. 10, series of 2003 dictates that immigration consultancy agencies and similar entities which are based locally, are required to obtain a license in accordance with the guidelines as provided for in Part II, Rule I, secs. 1 and 2 and Rule 2, secs. 1 to 5 of the 2002 POEA Rules and Regulations, before they may engage in recruitment and placement activities, regardless of the visa under which deployment shall be made eventually.
Reyes said an immigration consultancy firm if found illegally recruiting overseas Filipino workers would be closed down, and its owners and employees prosecuted.

The closure of First World Migration, owned by a certain Bernadette Angeles, came after a concerned citizen reported to the POEA its alleged illegal recruitment activities. The tipster also said it has a Facebook account that it uses in enlisting applicants.

In a surveillance and investigation operation, the POEA Anti-Illegal Recruitment Branch has confirmed the existence of such Facebook account and the immigration consultant’s illegal recruitment activities. A POEA operative posed as a job applicant for a fruit picker position in New Zealand and was charged Php4,900 for processing fee and Php50,000 to Php60,000 as placement fee.

Reyes called on applicants of First World Migration, especially those who have already paid processing and placement fees to testify against Bernadette Angeles and her secretary, Julia A. Umali a.k.a. Julia Angeles, for the proper filing of illegal recruitment cases against the two.

POEA Memorandum Circular No. 10, series of 2003 dictates that immigration consultancy agencies and similar entities which are based locally, are required to obtain a license in accordance with the guidelines as provided for in Part II, Rule I, secs. 1 and 2 and Rule 2, secs. 1 to 5 of the 2002 POEA Rules and Regulations, before they may engage in recruitment and placement activities, regardless of the visa under which deployment shall be made eventually.
Reyes said an immigration consultancy firm if found illegally recruiting overseas Filipino workers would be closed down, and its owners and employees prosecuted.

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