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POEA preventively suspends recruiter of construction workers for New Zealand

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has temporarily shut down the operation of a recruitment agency for its alleged violations in deploying eight overseas Filipino workers (OFW) in New Zealand.

POEA administrator Hans Cacdac has issued a preventive suspension order against Sacred Heart International Services, Inc. after it received a complaint from a group of Filipino construction workers in New Zealand for illegal exaction of placement fee.

“The order of preventive suspension issued against Sacred Heart International shall bar the agency from deploying overseas Filipino workers,” Cacdac said in a statement.

Cacdac said the suspension order will take effect until POEA concludes its investigation.

He said the probe will also cover Sacred Heart’s foreign counterpart placement agency, Business Immigration, and the employer of the affected workers in New Zealand, Valiant Homes Limited.

“Business Immigration and Valiant Homes, Inc. meanwhile cannot hire OFWs from the Philippines until further ordered by the POEA,” Cacdac said.

In the complaint letter, which was endorsed by the Philippine Embassy in New Zealand, the affected workers claimed Sacred Heart charged them each P330,000, but it only issued them receipts for P120,000.

They also claimed the agency referred them to lending companies, which charged them with high interest rates, which amounted to half a million pesos.

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