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Lebanon is a banned destination for newly-hired domestic workers

POEA ALERT: Please be gravely warned about some licensed recruiters who DO NOT actually recruit, and merely act as “processors” of people recruited as domestic workers by the ACTUAL RECRUITERS who are NOT LICENSED.

Yesterday morning, immediately after a flag ceremony where we reaffirmed our commitment to serve our country, I was visited by an individual who introduced himself as the president of Memere International Recruitment Company, Inc. We preventively suspended Memere International last 20 June 2014 pending investigation, on account of an endorsement from the Bureau of Immigration with respect to three OFWs offloaded for human trafficking.

The three OFWs processed at the POEA by Memere International were passed off as cleaners headed for the UAE. They were scheduled to take a Cebu Pacific flight for Dubai when they were intercepted by BI personnel at the airport, because they possessed visas and plane tickets for Lebanon. They admitted that they would be working in Lebanon as domestic workers.

Lebanon is a banned destination for newly-hired domestic workers.

This president of Memere International inquired about the process of preventive suspension, and asked if the POEA could process recruited workers already with visas. I explained that preventive suspension is issued against licensed recruiters that are prima facie found to have violated POEA rules and regulations, especially with respect to “reprocessing” or misrepresenting the true status of a worker. Also, I told him we definitely could not process any worker recruited by an agency under preventive suspension.

The objective of preventive suspension is to ensure that licensed recruiters such as Memere International will not go on deceiving other OFWs in violation of POEA rules and regulations.

I then asked the Memere International president about whether he has reached or contacted any of the 3 offloaded OFWs. And this is where the plot thickened.

He said that the 3 OFWs could not be contacted per advice of the “agent”.

I asked, “What ‘agent’?”

He replied, “The one who referred the 3 workers to us.”

“You mean somebody else recruited for you?” I asked. “What is his name?”

“Jovy,” he said.

“Last name?” I asked.

“I do not know his last name,” he replied.

Needless to say, I immediately asked our Adjudication Office to docket another case against Memere International, this time for utilizing the services of unauthorized agents, with the imposition of preventive suspension pending investigation.

Moral of the story: DO NOT COME TO THE POEA WITH DIRTY HANDS.

Sub-Moral of the story: IF YOU ARE TOO LAZY TO RECRUIT AS A LICENSED POEA RECRUITER, PLEASE STOP RECRUITING AND SURRENDER YOUR LICENSE BACK TO THE POEA.

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