• Ilocos Norte launches drive against illegal recruitment

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    THE provincial leadership of Ilocos Norte is working for closer ties and cooperation with prosecution and the Justice department to strengthen its information drive against illegal recruitment.

    Gov. Imee Marcos said it is no longer just information dissemination but a partnership and closer ties with those in the prosecution.

    “We need to help with the paper works, with understanding the law and in supporting victims of illegal recruitment,” Marcos said.

    In collaboration with the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), the provincial government launched an information drive against illegal recruitment and human trafficking here.

    Lawyer Jesus Gabriel Domingo, the POEA’s deputy administrator on licensing and adjudication, said that a memorandum of understanding between the POEA and the province would establish an information campaign against illegal recruitment, recruitment violators and human trafficking.

    “By information dissemination, we can save lives. It is the local government’s mandate to protect its constituents, while our office is mandated to protect job applicants and overseas Filipinos from abuse,” Domingo said.

    Marcos, however, noted a small number of reported incidents of illegal recruitment.

    “We are proud to say that here in the province, there have been little incidents of illegal recruitment,” she said.

    But still, she said, she worked out schemes to prevent illegal recruitment like inviting “good employers” to the province who can bring Ilocanos overseas.

    “We need a more market-driven training approach. This is so because more job openings require skilled manual workers like welders and aluminum fitters than white-collar professionals,” Marcos said.

    She said the real challenge is to change the mindsets not only of the students but also of their parents that technical vocational skills are in demand.

    Marcos also noted the high number of Ilocanos working abroad such that 61 percent of all families in the province are receiving remittances from relatives abroad. But she said many overseas Ilocanos have started returning to their homelands.

    “And another challenge lies on how to convert them from being a worker to entrepreneur,” Marcos said.

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