BAGUIO City: The Department of Labor and Employment-Cordillera Administrative Region (DOLE-CAR) has reported that the number of illegal recruitment cases in the region is decreasing.
During a recent Regional Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee (RLECC) meeting, DOLE-CAR Assistant Regional Director Teodoro Delson said that only 52 cases were reported in 2012, down from 73 in 2011.
From 200 cases filed in 2008, the number went down to 85 in 2009 then increased to 90 in 2010, Delson reported.
He said that, the Labor department is hopeful that the number of cases will be further lessened by 50 percent this year.
The Assistant Regional Director said that 133 victims were involved in the 52 illegal recruitment cases, translating to an average of two to three victims per illegal recruitment case.
Delson, moreover, said that women are more prone to be victimized by illegal recruiters.
Out of the 133 victims of illegal recruitment in 2012, 89 were women while 44 were men, according to Delson.
He also noted that the 52 cases filed involved an amount reaching P3.2 million.
Delson underlined that placement fees imposed on applicants should not exceed one month’s pay.
The DOLE official also said that pursuant to the department’s Anti-Illegal Recruitment-Trafficking in Persons (AIR-TIP) campaign, the DOLE conducted 128 AIR-TIP seminars attended by 8,940 participants.
He said that at present, the DOLE’s strategy involves entering into memorandums of agreement (MOA) with different barangays and municipalities for the monitoring of illegal recruitment activities in their jurisdictions.
He said that the DOLE has forged MOAs with at least 90 percent of the municipalities in the region.
“The DOLE personnel cannot monitor all the barangays, right now illegal recruiters are now at the barangay level, and no longer at the city, if they are in the city they are easily monitored,” Delson added.
Meanwhile, with respect to the implementation of labor laws and standards, he reported that it is now the policy of DOLE to protect employment and they are now at the developmental level trying to help employers to become more productive so that they can comply with labor laws.
Delson said that as to labor standards, there are still about 23 percent or about 138 establishment of the total 893 establishment in the region that were not paying the mandatory minimum wage.
“Nakakalungkot din iyan kasi gusto natin itaas iyong minimum wage and yet, iyong mga employed hindi kayang bayaran kahit iyong minimum wage lang [It is unfortunate because we want to increase the minimum wage, yet even those employed are not paid the current minimum wage],” Delson added.
On Occupational Safety and Health Standards (OSHS), Delson said that around 60 percent of establishments in the region are still violating safety rules.
Gaby B. Keith