PHL Embassy: No mushroom picker jobs available in Canada for OFWs

FILE PHOTO: A temporary foreign worker sorts mushrooms at the Highline Mushrooms farm. REUTERS

The Philippine Embassy in Canada has refuted reports of a Canadian mushroom farm looking to hire mushroom pickers and offering CAD 3,000 as salary.

“Sa ngayon po, ayon sa POEA, hindi nag-re-recruit ang POEA ng mushroom picker o anumang trabaho sa Canada. Wala pong accredited recruitment agency at POEA-approved job contract or agency or employer dito sa Canada sa ngayon. Hindi rin po sakop ng exceptions ng batas ang direct hiring papuntang Canada,” Philippine Ambassador to Canada Petronilo Garica explained.

(POEA is not recruiting mushroom pickers or for any job positions in Canada at the moment. There is currently no accredited recruitment agency and POEA-approved job contract or agency or employer in Canada. Direct hiring to Canada is not covered by exemptions of the law. )

Reports of a job opening for mushroom pickers in Canada caused a buzz recently as the alleged employment promised more than P150,000 pesos monthly salary and an opportunity for permanent residency.

Migrant workers’ group Migrante Canada explained that the real working condition of foreign workers in the country is not as “pleasurable” as everybody seems to think.

“Underpaid, working long hours. Sa mga lumapit sa amin…ang kwento sa amin ng mga kababayan natin, minsan 12 to 16 hours tapos one day lang yung day-off nila. So talagang over worked yung mga kababayan natin,” said Bayani Edades, a solidarity officer of Migrante Canada.

(Underpaid, working long hours. Those who come to us talk of 12 to 16 hours of work with only one day off. They really are overworked.)

Edades added that the Canadian government offers permanent residency only to highly skilled workers and to those who are enrolled in temporary training programs.

Only caregivers for elderly and children are the ones eligible for permanent residency with the chance of being approved for citizenship.

Maria Sol Pajadura, chairperson of Migrante Canada, explained that time and again they have encountered migrants being lured by illegal recruiters and provided with fake documents.

“Pina-process namin sa CIC iyong work permit. Pero at the end, malalaman na ng worker na wala na silang status dito sa Canada. That’s why we cannot divulge their names dahil undocumented na sila,” Pajadura said.

(We process their work permits at CIC. But at the end, the worker would find out that they have no status in Canada. That’s why we cannot divulge their names because they are now undocumented.)

Meanwhile, in an email sent to UNTV by Ryan Koeslag, the Executive Vice President of Canadian Mushroom Growers, clarified that those who want to work in Canada, whichever sector it may be, should strictly follow the legal mechanism imposed by the Canadian government on foreign workers.

For its part, the Philippine Embassy, as always, vowed to extend all the necessary assistance to Filipino workers in Canada who in turn are victims of illegal recruiters. — UNTV News & Rescue

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