16 April 2015, Rappler

Lito Soriano, an advocate of ethical recruitment, says an OFW is able to secure jobs abroad 2 months faster through illegal channels.

MANILA, Philippines – While underground migration is a complex problem caused by many social factors, one way to quell it is by streamlining the legal process that Filipino workers go through when applying for jobs overseas.

Loreto “Lito” Soriano, an advocate of ethical recruitment, believes time is crucial for a would-be migrant worker badly in need of a foreign job placement. This makes the “speedier” illegal recruiter a viable option in the eyes of the worker.

“I’m calling on our government, especially POEA (Philippine Overseas Employment Administration) and Department of Labor [and Employment], to make documented migration competitive in terms of processing lead time,” he told Rappler in an interview.

The Philippines’ “managed migration” is “a good policy wherein everything’s recorded,” he said. Still, he challenged the government to “shorten the process at the same time the number of documents that should be secured” for and by overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

According to the 2013 Commission for Filipinos Overseas Compendium of Statistics, there are around 1.34 million undocumented Filipino migrant workers – a number the government wishes to shrink.

On average, Soriano said, an OFW will be able to secure overseas employment 2 months faster through the illegal process than through the proper channels.



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