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Thursday, November 05, 2009

Roque warns OFWs on illegally entering South Korea


The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) today warned anew Filipino workers against entering foreign countries to seek employment via illegal channels like the unauthorized escort service that does not afford them protection and put their lives and welfare at great risk from abusive employers onsite.

Labor and Employment Secretary Marianito D. Roque issued the warning following reports which said that migrant workers face abuse in South Korea.

Citing a report from Seoul-based Labor Attache Delmer Cruz, Roque said there have been Filipino overseas performing artists (OPAs) who entered Korea and issued E-6 visas by the Korea Immigration Service (KIS) without passing through the legal deployment process by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration POEA).  KIS issues E-visas to foreign artists seeking jobs in Korea.

The DOLE Chief said there was discrepancy in the number of OPAs verified by the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Seoul and processed by POEA and the data provided by KIS on Filipinos issued E-visas in Korea, indicating the entry of illegally recruited OPAs to this country.  He attributed such illegal recruitment to unauthorized escort service victimizing vulnerable OFWs.

He revealed that the POLO in Seoul has assisted a number of OPAs who have confessed having departed for Korea through the escort service.

He called on OFWs not to fall prey to individuals promising overseas jobs without verifying first with POEA whether the promised jobs are legal or not, adding that illegal recruitment like the escort service scheme does not afford them the protection and welfare services that are available to OFWs processed by the POEA. 

By verifying with POEA, Filipino entertainers and other OFWs seeking jobs in Korea may also be apprised of Korean employers/promoters and entertainment venues with derogatory records and not suited to employ Filipino workers.

Roque also said that OFWs deployed to Korea under the employment permit system (EPS) agreement between the governments of the Philippines and the Republic of Korea (ROK) do not pay exorbitant fees.  

EPS consists of the general procedure under which foreign workers of a country which forged a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Korea enter this country after signing a labor contract with a Korean employer.

Roque who renewed the RP-ROK EPS in Seoul on May 30, 2009 with Korean Labor Minister Young Hi Lee, said that OFWs under the Philippines and Korean MOU are deployed to Korea without the use of brokers and that no exorbitant fees are being collected from the OFWs.

He said the MOU with Korea also includes conditions providing for welfare services and protection of OFWs from abuse and exploitation in Korea.


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