Jinggoy calls out DMW to probe dummy firms

(GLOBAL DAILY MIRROR) In response to the recent incident of a slain OFW in Kuwait, Senator Jinggoy Estrada called out the officials of the Department and Migrant Workers (DMW) to inspect “dummy” Filipino owners of placement agencies recruiting land-based overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

During Wednesday’s Senate public hearing on Jullebee Ranara’s case, Estrada stated that his office has information on alleged foreign ownership of placement agencies, a matter that is prohibited in the licensing and regulation rules of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and the Labor Code of the Philippines.

Based on their information, the senator claimed it is well known in the industry that some Filipinos are operating as “dummy” incorporators of recruitment or placement firms that deploy OFWs.

“It might be tedious for this committee to summon all the incorporators or the board of directors of the recruitment agencies. Let’s just request the DMW to scrutinize the recruitment agencies, whether the proprietors of these recruitment agencies have the financial capability to run its operations,” Estrada said.

Only Filipino citizens may obtain permits to run recruiting firms with a minimum capital of P5 million, according to the country’s Labor Code.

The senator voiced concern that some of these foreign-owned recruiters may be involved in the deployment of OFWs in distress, like in the case of Ranara, who was killed last January 21 by her employer’s 17-year-old son.

However, the DMW asserted that if incorporators violate various regulations, their licenses will be revoked, and they will be placed on a derogatory list and disqualified from participating or operating in any other recruitment activities.

The agency’s initial investigation revealed that Ranara’s local and international recruitment firms did not adhere to the necessary monitoring standards to safeguard the welfare of their deployed employees.