Alarmed by the proliferation of illegal recruitment in the country, Vice President Jejomar Binay has called on the media and local officials to help in the fight against illegal recruiters.
Binay asked the help of local officials in tracking illegal recruiters in their areas.
He noted that thousands of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are undocumented because illegal recruiters victimized them.
According to Binay, the issue of illegal recruitment especially in the Middle East mostly involves unskilled and undocumented workers.
He also called on media and local officials to convince victims to pursue cases against their recruiters
“I will also urge media to help in the campaign against illegal recruitment. That is still our major problem,” Binay said.
Binay is the Presidential Adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers Concerns and heads the Presidential Task Force Against Illegal Recruitment.
The government, he added, has yet to find solutions to the problem of Filipinos leaving the country without visa requirements.
“Our OFWs are illegally recruited in Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, then they will be accepted by syndicate, they will later brought to Middle East, in Dubai, in Abu Dhabi and even in war-torn Syria,” he added.
Those who are planning to leave should also ensure that the agencies they talk with are accredited by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, he added.
He pointed out that the situation with undocumented workers is more difficult because they are only identified once problems occur.
Meanwhile, the Vice President said that the problem with skilled workers is their hesitation to leave even when the situation in the countries where they work becomes unstable.
“In Libya, you have to understand there are many who are still in the desert, it is very chaotic even in the capital. In Syria, the violence continues but many OFWs still don’t want to go home,” Binay added.
The Vice President on Sunday also renewed the call for the review and amendment of the Salary Standardization Law to help deter highly skilled government workers from going abroad to seek higher paying jobs.
“We need to ensure that we can offer our government workers, especially those performing highly technical work, a compensation package that sustains their families and properly recognizes their skills and competencies,” Binay said during his speech at the 105th annual convention of the Philippine Dental Association (PDA).
Binay said that he believes Filipinos are more than willing to serve their country. However, he also said that the government should provide just compensation to its workers.
“It is simply unconscionable that the government and our country is the first to be deprived of the technical knowledge and expertise that our countrymen possess,” Binay said.
“Government should be able to attract the highest quality of professionals, and pay them a fair wage, if we are to begin to apply the richness of our people’s talents towards overcoming all the challenges that the nation grapples with,” he added.
Binay also commended the PDA for their efforts in fighting for the welfare of dental professionals, especially government dentists.
It gives me great joy to see that your association has tirelessly and persistently fought for the welfare of our government dentists. They are every bit as committed and competent as their private sector counterparts and I am glad to know that the salaries of Dentists I to IV have been reallocated to higher grades,” he said.
Binay also pledged to help resolve PDA’s problem with its headquarters whose 50-year lease has expired.