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Monday, January 11, 2010

Crackdown on fake AIDS test certificates

Labor and Employment Secretary Marianito D. Roque has directed the crackdown
of fake AIDS tests certificates which resulted in the deportation of 57
Filipino overseas performing artists (OPAs) from Seoul as of December last

The Labor Chief said that the agency will be sanctioned if found violating
Republic Act No. 8042 or the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of

A thorough investigation is now ongoing on a certain international
recruitment agency which issued fake AIDS test certificates and responsible
in the deportation of OPAs from Seoul, Korea, DOLE said.

In 2009, Roque said that out of the 57 OPAs, 11 were deported on December 7,
18 on December 4, and 28 deportees from July 12 to 16.

He emphasized that to protect OFWs in both the sending and host countries, a
strict AIDS test should be made a crucial part of the medical examination
required by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) on
overseas bound-migrant workers.

One of the OPAs said that their agency in the Philippines prepared and
submitted all the documents including their AIDS test certificates. She
added that they did not undergo a test in the country because the agency and
promoter advised them that the AIDS test will be conducted in Korea.

"We strongly urge the recruiters to adhere to the stringent requirement and
ensure that the credentials and required certificates of OFWs (overseas
Filipino workers) are in accordance with the international standards," Roque

Meanwhile, the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Seoul is in the
process of inviting the promoter in Korea to shed light on the incident.

Labor Attaché to Seoul Delmer F. Cruz also recommended that necessary
reintegration assistance should be extended to the deported OPAs in
consideration of their disadvantaged status through DOLE's National
Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO) and Overseas Workers Welfare
Administration (OWWA).

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