In the Philippines illegal recruitment is defined as an any act of canvassing, enlisting, contracting, transporting, utilizing, hiring or procuring workers and includes referring, contract services, promising or advertising for employment abroad, whether for profit or not, when undertaken by a non-license or no-holder of authority (RA8042).
Many Filipinos are eager to work overseas in search for a “greener pasture” and with each different reasons; one may want to leave his loved ones to immigrate, while another might just wanted to experience the life of an OFW.
But not all job opportunities will grant you success and favorable experience, and with that reason, you should always scrutinize and review every prospect employee.
Illegal recruiters will try everything to lure potential victims. So, how can you spot illegal recruiter? Below are the list of when to raise red flag and step back:
- They don’t have license from POEA
- The recruiter will immediately ask / talk about placement fee without issuing Official Receipt (OR)
- A promise for fast departure after payment
- Avoids direct questions regarding important matters
- You will be asked to undergo medical examination even despite not having an official employment contract.
- An offer to use Tourist visa for you immediate departure and a promise of working visa once landed to your country of destination.
- Encourages you to invite your friends, relatives and colleagues to apply for the job
- A promise of wasta, padrino, backer, etc. (terms used for “connection”)
- Recruiter will show previous applicants who successfully work abroad.
What are the different illegal recruiter modus? According to Trafficking.org.ph, Modus Operandi of Illegal Recruiters are as follow:
- Tourist Worker Scheme – workers leave the country as tourists but are actually leaving for employment abroad.
- Escort Services – workers are “escorted” at the airports ad seaports and allowed to leave even without the required travel documents
- Blind Ads – advertisements for overseas employment published in the dailies do not indicate the name of the recruiter but provides a P.O. Box to which applications may be submitted.
- By Correspondence – applicants are encouraged to submit their requirements through mail together with seemingly minimal fee.
- Backdoor Exit – workers leave through the southern ports of exit where immigration control is lax. They usually leave on cargo ships or on boats.
- Assumed identity – workers leave under another name either using the name of another worker or through the “baklas system” or obtaining passports through fake birth certificates and other documents. Minors are usually deployed through this scheme.
- Direct hiring – workers are recruited directly by the foreign employer and deployed either as tourists or through any of the other illegal means.
- Trainee-Worker Scheme – workers are recruited and deployed as trainees on a training agreement. More often, HRM students leaving in the guise of a traineeship program for hotels abroad but eventually landing jobs in hotels/restaurants abroad.
- Tie-Up or Kabit System – unlicensed recruiters tie-up with licensed agencies and recruit workers through the facilities of the latter. Workers are either deployed under the job order of the licensed agency but actually work for another employer abroad or the foreign principal of the unlicensed recruiter is registered or accredited under the licensed agency’s name.
- Visa Assistance or Immigration Consultancy Scheme – entities operating under the guise of consultancy or offering services for visa facilitation are actually engaged in recruitment by offering placement abroad on immigrant visa. Some of them also operate through the conduct of orientation seminars, which are actually recruiting activities.
- Camouflaged participants/representatives in seminars/sports events – workers leave as participants in seminars or sports events abroad but actually intend to work there.
- Mail Order Bride Scheme – marriage is arranged by brokers between Filipino women and foreigners. The Filipino wife ends up being a domestic helper to her husband and his family or in worst situations abroad.