DMW Orders Investigation into Illegal Recruitment Agency in Dubai

OWWA Administrator Hans Cacdac welcomed the 25 OFWs repatriated from Israel at the NAIA Terminal 3 in Pasay City on Monday, October 23, 2023. Two caregivers, Gerald Caniban and Teresita Malapo, recounted their experiences during the Hamas rocket attacks at the start of the Israel-Hamas war.
PHOTO BY J. GERARD SEGUIA
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The Migrant Workers Office in Manila is taking action against an illegal recruitment firm based in Dubai. Hans Cacdac, the Officer-in-Charge of the Migrant Workers Office, has ordered an investigation into the activities of Legal Connect Travel Services following the closure of its office in Quezon City.

The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW), specifically its Migrant Workers Protection Bureau (MWPB), worked in collaboration with law enforcement officials in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to initiate the investigation. The DMW aims to protect the rights and welfare of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and ensure that they are not exploited by unscrupulous recruitment agencies.

The closure of Legal Connect’s office in Quezon City came after the MWPB received three complaints from applicants who had experienced delays or complete disregard for their applications. These applicants had paid placement fees ranging from P250,000 to P380,000, as reported by the MWPB.

It is important to note that Legal Connect was not authorized by the DMW to recruit OFWs. Despite this, the company was offering job opportunities in various sectors such as agriculture, caregiving, and hospitality. Specifically, they were promoting positions as fruit and vegetable pickers, dairy farm workers, caregivers in Italy, and hotel crew in Malta.

Illegal recruitment is a serious issue that poses significant risks to migrant workers. It often involves fraudulent practices, such as charging excessive fees, providing false promises, and operating without the necessary licenses. These illegal recruiters take advantage of the desperation and vulnerability of individuals seeking employment opportunities abroad.

The DMW and its MWPB play a crucial role in combating illegal recruitment and protecting the rights of OFWs. They work tirelessly to ensure that recruitment agencies adhere to the law and provide fair and ethical services to aspiring migrant workers.

The investigation into Legal Connect Travel Services signifies the commitment of the Migrant Workers Office to hold accountable those who engage in illegal recruitment activities. By shutting down their office and launching an investigation, the authorities are sending a clear message that such practices will not be tolerated.

This case also highlights the importance of conducting thorough research and due diligence when considering job opportunities abroad. Prospective OFWs must verify the legitimacy of recruitment agencies and ensure that they are authorized by the appropriate government bodies. It is crucial to be aware of the red flags associated with illegal recruiters, such as exorbitant fees, lack of proper documentation, and promises that seem too good to be true.

In conclusion, the closure of Legal Connect Travel Services’ office in Quezon City and the subsequent investigation by the Migrant Workers Office demonstrate the government’s commitment to protecting the rights and welfare of OFWs. It serves as a reminder to both recruitment agencies and aspiring migrant workers that illegal recruitment will face severe consequences. By staying informed and vigilant, individuals can safeguard themselves against fraudulent practices and make informed decisions about their overseas employment opportunities.

Source: The Manila Times

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