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Pinoy Nurses in Norway Rally Behind Recruitment Agency Accused of Corruption
Around 100 Filipino nurses staged a protest rally in front of the venue of a forum where an Oslo politician is set to speak about his book on corruption that accuses Pinoy-owned recruitment agency, Active Service, Omsorg og Rekruttering (ASOR), of corrupt practices.Chanting “We support ASOR” and “Enough is enough” in Norwegian and some wearing T-shirts with ASOR logos, the nurses caught the attention of the locals as they gathered in front of the Litteraturhuset awaiting the arrival of incumbent Oslo city council member Erling Folkvord who wrote the controversial book, “Our Corrupt Capital.”
They also held up placards with slogans “We support ASOR”, “Filipino nurses are competent”, “ASOR cares for nurses,” “Enough is enough”, “ASOR is innocent”, “Stop false accusations against ASOR and Filipina nurses”, and “thank you for the help Rizalina.”
Folkvord’s book details corrupt practices in the Oslo county and accused ASOR of sending invoices for free labor, not giving minimum wages, and employing unqualified personnel.
ASOR is one of the biggest agencies providing nursing aid services to elderly clients in Oslo. It counts the city government of Oslo as one of its biggest clients. From 2002 until the end of August 2010, city records show that the agency earned 67 million kroners (around P536 million at present exchange rates) from its city contracts.
It was founded in 2000 and lists as it owners Filipina Rizalina Galiza Jenssen and her Norwegian husband, Hallvard Jenssen.
Fear of job losses
“May posibilidad na mawalan ng trabaho ang karamihan sa mga nurses dito dahil sa mga isinusulat niya (na) walang katotohanan,” Helen Locsin, a nurse in Oslo, told this reporter.
She also said that what Folkvord did was to destroy the reputation of Filipino nurses and endanger their jobs.
Filipino community leader Nene Puyat who also attended the rally echoed Locsin’s sentiment and said the Filipino community is affected by this scandal. She also said she believes the accusations against ASOR as outlined in the book are not true.
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