POEA Rules Threaten Job Prospects of Filipino Workers in NZ

New rules meant to protect Filipino workers from taking out onerous loans to secure work in New Zealand are now being pointed as the reason why those very people fail to land jobs in the country.

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration set the rules that required employers to shoulder most of the expense in hiring Filipino workers, including recruitment, placement, visa, administrative fees and airfares. As a result, the move could cost New Zealand employers up to $10,000 to recruit an individual Filipino worker, said Filipino Dairy Workers in New Zealand chairman Earl Magtibay.

“Employers are not keen to pay out so much money, especially now the payout is low,” Earl Magtiday said as quoted by Stuff.co.nz.

Employers who used to look at the Philippine jobmarket are now looking at other nationalities.

FDWNZ board director and Pleasant Point farm manager Eric Tao-ey said the dairy crisis had forced redundancies on some Filipinos who now struggled to get visas.

“If they have to renew, it could only be for another year and some are unsure whether they’ll get a visa,” Tao-ey said.

“Going back to the Philippines is the last option.”

Magtibay, whose ten friends lost jobs, lamented the loss of good and experienced workers. “We’re expecting more to go,” he said.

Before the new POEA rule, many Filipino workers were prompted to borrow money from loan sharks and lenders to finance their application. While it’s a huge financial burden for the applicants, their chances of landing jobs were better as employers were not expected to shell out huge sums during recruitment.

Now, it’s ironic that a government policy aimed at reducing that financial burden could also be making Filipino dairy workers less appealing.

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