It has long been Grace’s dream to work overseas and earn better than what she has been earning here. Trying to find a job as a nurse in Saudi Arabia, Grace left her hometown in Iloilo to seek her fortune in Manila.
But, Grace is wary of falling victim to an illegal recruiter. “Natatakot din ako dahil may mga agency na lolokohin ka…sisingilin ka nang mahal.” She hopes to find a trustworthy recruitment agency so she can immediately find work.
But with Philippine Overseas Employement Agency (POEA)’s new mobile app, checking up on recruitment agencies on the spot can be as easy as scrolling through your mobile phone. This is one of POEA’s many answers to the increasing incidence of illegal recruitment in the country.
According to Hans Leo Cacdac, POEA Administrator, Filipinos do not always report to the POEA if they have fallen victims to or are being preyed upon by illegal recruiters. “Marami kasi ang hindi aware. Halimbawa, alam ba nila na bawal ang mag house-to-house recruitment? Dapat sa opisina lang.”
POEA’s new mobile phone app is the agency’s way of staying in tune with the times, using technology to fight illegal recruiters who prey on hopeful Filipinos eager to find work abroad.
Many Filipinos are hoping to find work overseas to further their career and/or income. POEA’s mobile app will be a big help to them in successfully securing job placements.
Using the app, users may access lists of cancelled or suspended recruiting agencies. For those agencies which are authorized by the POEA, users can also view if they have a good record standing with the POEA. Owners of the agencies together with the agency’s address and contact numbers may also be accessed through the app.
Developed by WorkAbroad.ph, an online job portal, the app may also be used to look for jobs. Just type the job openings you wish to find and in which country and the app will show you agency job orders. The app is free and doesn’t require registration. It is both available for Android and iOs mobile phones and tablets.
POEA is encouraging OFWs to immediately report any recruitment agency that is operating without licenses or those with licenses have been already cancelled.
Group photo courtesy of Gina Laggui.