POEA Cancels Recruit Agency’s License

MANILA, Philippines --- The license of a recruitment agency deploying Filipino workers in Taiwan was cancelled for charging applicants of placement fees beyond what is specified by law.

Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) chief Hans Cacdac reported that some 18 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) deployed to Taiwan in 2010 filed complaints against Prime Stars International Promotion Corporation. The complainants claimed that the agency made them pay placement fees ranging from P80,000 to P120,000 for jobs as factory workers in Taiwan.

They also said they were deprived of unpaid overtime pay and other benefits which were clearly stated in their employment contract.

Cacdac said under Section 3, Rule V, Part II of the POEA rules and regulations on the recruitment and deployment of land-based workers, the agency may charge and collect from hired workers a placement fee equivalent to one month salary. In the case of the complainants, their contract stated that they will received a monthly salary of NT$17,280.00 or around P26,000.00.

Cacdac said the agency's covering surety, Country Bankers Insurance Corporation, has been ordered to refund around P1.5 million worth of excess placement fees to the complainants.

Furthermore, he clarified that officers and directors of Prime Stars International during the time of the commission of the offense are currently disqualified from engaging in recruitment and placement of OFWs now that the cancellation of the agency's license is issued.