LABOR Secretary Walden Bello 3rd has ordered the temporary suspension of the acceptance and processing of all new applications for overseas employment certificates (OEC) amid persistent reports of rampant illegal recruitment activities of land-based Filipino migrant workers .
Bello’s directive issued on Friday covered all overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), including those who are hired directly.
Exempted from the coverage of the suspension were workers hired by international organizations and members of the diplomatic corps, which include members of the royal families, and sea-based recruitment agencies.
The order will be implemented by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) for compliance by all land-based private recruitment agencies.
It will take effect from November 13 to December 1 subject to extension as circumstances may require. WILLIAM B. DEPASUPIL