By Carmencita A. Carillo
Business World | 23 January 2017
The Public Services Labor Independent Confederation (PSLINK) is calling on President Rodrigo R. Duterte to abolish all types of recruitment fees being asked from workers who want to work abroad. PSLINK, which now has 387 members, is a national confederation of government employees and their unions and associations.
“The imposition of recruitment fees has only led to the exploitation of overseas Filipino workers (OFW),” PSLINK President Annie E. Geron told BusinessWorld in an interview. Ms. Geron is also vice-president of the International Public Services International-Global Union which is a federation of 21 million workers in 154 countries.
PSLINK led the rollout of the campaign in Davao City last week.
“Up to 10% of the Philippine population are OFWs, most of whom are in deep indebtedness because of the high recruitment fees being collected by agencies,” Ms. Geron said.
Rule V, Section 50 of the Revised Rules and Regulations governing the recruitment and employment of landbased OFWs provides that among the fees that should be charged to OFWs are documentation costs, competency certificates and medical examinations prescribed by the Health Department.
Section 51 allows the charging of placement fees but this should only be equivalent to a month’s basic salary as specified in contracts approved by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA). Exempted from placement fees are domestics workers and those deployed to countries where the system does not allow the collection of said fees.