‘No illegal recruitment at seafarers’ center’By Jeannette I. Andrade
Philippine Daily Inquirer
A nongovernmental organization managing a seafarers’ center in Manila maintained Friday that the office has not been involved in illegal recruitment, saying its primary activity has been informing seafarers about jobs overseas.
As proof, the Luneta Seafarers Welfare Foundation (Luswelf) said the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) could check out the Luneta Seafarers’ Center along T.M. Kalaw Street for themselves to find out if there was anything questionable in the operations of the facility.
“Since the POEA temporarily suspended its memorandum of agreement with Luswelf in May 2009 and stopped issuing a special recruitment authority to manning agencies in the area, we have abided by its decision,” Luswelf administrator Anfred Yulo said in a statement.
“We have regulated manning activities in the area and prevented them from going beyond information dissemination, advertising and the promotion of seafarer job vacancies in their respective companies,” he added.
Yulo said the center mainly serves as a meeting place for seafarers and local manpower agency representatives.
“The formal recruitment process happens at their respective offices, from the time a seafarer fills up an application form to formally signing a shipboard contract with them.” Yulo said.
The Luswelf official added that the installation of closed circuit television cameras had effectively monitored and regulated the activities of manning agencies which maintained booths at the center.
“As an advocate of seafarer welfare, the Luswelf has never allowed and will never allow illegal recruitment activities at the Luneta Seafarers’ Center. In fact, we forbid manning agencies to post their salary rates at the center to level the playing field,” Yulo said.
The center has been a convergence point for seafarers since the ’80s and a venue for manning agencies to showcase their companies to job applicants.
“Luswelf has never been and shall never be in the business of recruitment. We welcome the POEA to the center so the agency can regulate and monitor for itself the activities of manning agencies in the area,” Yulo said.