LABOR Secretary Silvestre Bello 3rd said the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) would soon stop issuing overseas employment certificates (OEC) to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
Bello said this would cover OFWs who were not covered by the general exceptions on direct hired workers.
“Such practice is risky because you are allowing a worker to leave even without an agency and a contract. If something happens to an OFW, it’s hard to run after the employer because there is no contract,” he said on Thursday.
Bello said he would come out with a new department order (DO) on the matter soon.
Section 123 of the 2016 Revised Rules and Regulations on the Recruitment and Deployment of OFWs of the POEA states that “No employer shall directly hire an overseas Filipino worker for overseas employment.”
However, Section 124 provides the exemption to include those employers who are close relatives of the OFW, member of the diplomatic corps, international organizations, heads of state and government officials with the rank of at least deputy minister, and other employers permitted by the secretary of labor.
Bello said that outside of these three exceptions, the secretary of labor has the discretion to issue an OEC even if one was not included in the exception rule. WILLIAM B. DEPASUPIL