Authored by: Nicon Fameronag (Former undersecretary DOLE) Date posted: Apr 30, 2018
The Lilac Center for Public Interest, Inc. yesterday said that if the Duterte administration is sincere in securing the welfare and interest of OFWs, it should close down licensed recruitment agencies wholly-owned and controlled by foreigners, including Kuwaitis.
“Kuwait has expelled our ambassador to that country for working to ensure that our OFWs are protected. One of the responses that the government should consider is deporting Kuwaitis controlling or owning licenses recruitment agencies using Filipinos as dummies. This is a blatant violation of Philippine laws,” Nicon F. Fameronag, President of the Lilac Center said in a media release.
Philippine business ownership laws provide that recruitment agencies must be owned and controlled 75 percent by Filipino nationals and 25 percent by foreigners.
“But in reality, many licensed recruitment agencies are wholly or majority-owned and controlled by foreign nationals, particularly Arabs, Kuwaitis, Lebanese, Jordanians, Egyptians, Syrians, and Africans, but the DOLE and the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration are just turning a blind eye on this anomaly,” Fameronag said.
“We are merely articulating the sentiment of many Filipino owners of licensed recruitment agencies who are disadvantaged by the competition posed by these foreign nationals in the field of overseas recruitment,” he further said.
The Lilac Center official said the POEA should start clamping down on foreigners operating licensed recruitment agencies in violation of Philippine nationality laws.
“That is one to minimize welfare problems of OFWs. Only Filipinos can understand and emphatize with the culture the needs, and the aspirations of OFWs, but not foreigners who are merely in the recruitment business solely for profit, not social protection and welfare,” Fameronag finally said.