Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III has lifted the suspension of processing of direct hires among overseas Filipino workers after the conclusion of an investigation on officials allegedly involved in an anomaly inside the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration.
“Inalis ko na ang suspensyon sa mga direct hire na OFW dahil tapos na rin ang isinagawang imbestigasyon rito. Minabuti ko na imbestigahan na muna, at ngayong tapos na ang imbestigation, alam na namin kung sino ang mga involved, at nagkakaroon ng re-organization within the agency (POEA),” Bello said.
He added that the temporary suspension in processing and release of overseas employment certificate for all direct-hire OFWs is aimed towards their safety and precaution against possible illegal activities inside the POEA.
Through Administrative Order No. 155-A, Series of 2017, Bello ordered the POEA and Philippine Overseas Labor Offices to continue the processing and release of OEC, which is one requirement within the regulation set by POEA for labor recruitment and to ensure worker welfare and proper documentation.
“Dapat nating siguruhin na ang mga OFW ay nabibigyang proteksyon sa oras na lumabas sila ng bansa. Dapat ay maiiwas rin sila na maging biktima ng anumang anomalya,” added Bello.
Under Section 123 of the 2016 Revised Rules and Regulations on the Recruitment and Deployment of OFWs of the POEA, no employer is allowed to directly accept Filipino workers to work overseas.
Likewise, Section 124 outlined exemptions to this guideline such as employers who are close relatives of OFWs, members of diplomatic corps, international organizations, heads of states and officials of the government with rank equivalent to a deputy ministry; and other employers as approved by the Labor Secretary.