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Halt in OEC processing is P132M economic loss to recruitment sector—expert

/ 03:00 PM November 17, 2017

AFP FILE PHOTO

A recruitment consultant and migration expert expressed dismay on Friday over the order of the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) to stop the processing of overseas employment certificates (OECs) for 15 days, which is estimated to cause an economic loss of P132 million for the country’s recruitment agencies.

Recruitment consultant Emmanuel Geslani said that Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello’s order, which directs land-based agencies to stop the processing of OECs for 15 working days starting Nov. 13 to Dec. 1, would have a “damaging effect” to agencies who have contractual obligations with their foreign principals.

“Airline tickets will have to be rebooked, principals will be angry with agencies, delays with their projects, wards of (household service workers) agencies will be upset, (and) lastly the Secretary did not consult the industry on the disastrous effect on all land based agencies,” Geslani said in a statement.

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The order affects close to 75,000 workers scheduled for departure these coming weeks up to the Christmas season, Geslani explained, quoting data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).

Many of these workers have resigned and preparing to leave for their chosen jobsites, the expert said, and most of them were expecting to work immediately.

“Some of them are already staying in Manila, adding personal costs for them to go back to their provinces or stay at boarding houses while waiting,” he added.

The delay would also entail additional cause to their visas since the 15-day delay have affected their departures for their jobsites.

“In case the visas expire this will pose additional cost to the employers who have to apply for extensions of the visas,” Geslani said.

The Dole ordered the suspension of the issuance of the OEC due to reports of illegal recruitment and corruption in the POEA.

Geslani said industry associations would appeal to Bello to withdraw the order for the meantime while the investigation is ongoing “in order to preserve the harmonious relationships of agencies with their principals.” /jpv

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TAGS: DOLE, EACs, foreign employers, Labor, OFWs, POEA
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