The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) imposed a pre-ventive suspension on Sacred Heart International Services Inc. and its foreign principal and direct em-ployer in New Zealand for violating recruitment laws.
POEA chief Hans Leo Cacdac on Friday said a letter was endorsed by the Philippine Embassy in Wellington, New Zealand, to them, citing that the POEA has motu propio initiated a complaint for recruitment violation against Sacred Heart International and disciplinary action ca- ses against Business Im-migration and Valiant Homes Limited.
Business Immigration is the counterpart agency of Sacred Heart International and Valiant Homes is the counterpart employer in New Zealand, POEA said.
Cacdac said eight Filipino workers alleged that their actual salaries on their respective pay slips did not match those in the time sheets they submitted to the company.
The eight Filipinos, all construction workers employed by Valiant Homes in Auckland, alleged that each of them paid Sacred Heart P330,000 but the receipt issued to them was for P120,000 only, Cacdac said.
They claimed that the company had deducted ND$30 from their salary supposedly for service fee and that they were forced to work on Saturdays under threat of being sent back to the Philippines.
Cacdac said Sacred Heart had also endorsed the workers to some lending companies that charged high interest rates.
Based on the approved contracts, the workers were to receive a salary of ND$20 per hour or a weekly salary of ND$800 computed at 40 work hours per week.
The salary offered was approximately P30,000 per week or P120,000 a month calculated at the prevailing exchange rate on the dates of their deployment, Cac- dac said.
He pointed out that the order of preventive sus-pension issued against Sacred Heart bars the agency from deploying overseas Filipino workers pending resolution of the recruit-ment violation cases, in-cluding illegal exaction of placement fee, filed against it.