Sunday, January 23, 2011

Binay welcomes Senate probe on POEA officers' link to illegal recruitment

Vice-President Jejomar Binay the presidential adviser on overseas Filipino workers (OFW) concerns, said he welcomes the Senate inquiry into the alleged role of some government officials in the illegal recruitment of around 100 OFWs.

Binay said on Monday he supports Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV's Senate Resolution 329which seeks an investigation into the alleged connivance between some POEA officers and three licensed recruitment agencies in exploiting some 100 OFWs.

“The national interest clearly lies with the protection of the rights and welfare of our overseas workers. If there are procedural or administrative gaps and even acts of collusion or connivance to the detriment of our OFWs, then let the truth come out," Binay said in a statement on Monday.

He likewise said since POEA administrator Carlos Cao just recently assumed his position, he would be in a "good position" to look into the challenges confronting his agency with "utmost impartiality."

“The interests of OFWs are paramount under the Aquino administration. All steps must be taken to protect their welfare. We also need to ensure that government officials and employees provide our OFWs with the best service, while at the same time conducting themselves with transparency and professionalism," said the vice president.

In SB 329, Trillanes said there was suspicion of collusion between the POEA and some agencies because the licenses of the firms were supposedly already cancelled but the penalties given to them were not implemented.

Trillanes said that from 1982 to 2011, the market for overseas workers has grown exponentially with the POEA saying that around 3,000 Filipinos leave for abroad to work daily.

The Philippines has been placed in the Tier 2 Watch List of the United States Department of State due to the large number of unresolved human trafficking cases, and is in danger of falling into the Tier 3 category, which would put at risk around $250 million in non-humanitarian assistance from the United States. - VVP, GMANews.TV

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