Ethical and responsible recruitment must be felt by jobseekers—Baldoz

Date Posted: March 2nd, 2015 03:00 AM

Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday delivered her yet most passionate remarks on overseas migration, when, in front of government partners that included licensed overseas recruitment agencies, international development organization representatives, members and the academe, and civil society groups, she said that “ethical, legal, and responsible recruitment must be felt by the job seekers themselves, and not by those who say they are engaged in it.” “Let’s face it. This is how I see the value of our combined efforts to protect our migrant workers,” she said by way of comment to the most prodigious results of the two-year “Project on Strengthening Labour Migration Management Capacities in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Nepal, and the Philippines for Replication in Other Colombo Process Member-States”. The event was the Project Closure Conference on the project, held at the New World Manila Bay Hotel, that saw the attendance and participation of Marco Boasso, Chief of Mission of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM); Hans Farnhammer, Head of Operations of the European Union Delegation to the Philippines; Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac and Director Robert Larga of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration; and OFW migration expert Manolo Abella. Ricardo Casco, IOM Mission Coordinator/National Programme Officer, presented the outputs of the project, while Director Larga gave a preview of the information, education, and communication materials produced by the project, funded by the European Commission’s Thematic Programme of Cooperation with Third Countries in the Areas of Migration and Asylum. Baldoz, departing from her prepared keynote message, expressed her thanks and gratitude to the IOM and the European Union for the “very tangible results” of the project. “When we say ethical and legal recruitment, we think of the measures in place, like the no-placement fee policy and the anti-illegal recruitment and human trafficking drive that we should consistently pursue for the benefit of migrant workers” she said. “But we should also think of how to put more teeth on those kind of measures so that they could be felt by potential job seekers out in the field, in the poor provinces and municipalities. This is an area now where the Philippine government is reviewing and strengthening its strategies,” she said. Baldoz also said that the POEA is now very much in the forefront in making regulations very transparent. “It now has very market-specific advisories for the guidance of licensed recruitment agencies,” she said. On the no-placement fee policy, the labor and employment chief divulged that Qatar may be on its way of being added on the list of countries that recognises the importance of protecting migrant workers. “Our bilateral negotiations with Qatar affords us an opportunity to explain what the Philippine government is doing, such as our transition to online contract processing system and standard employment contract for household domestic workers,” she said. She lamented that licensed recruitment agencies are not investing in the assessment and certification of their workers, despite their repeated return overseas. “At our Philippne Overseas Labor Offices, we have already made the skills assessment and certification for skilled workers, as well as for semi-skilled workers, such as domestic helpers, mandatory because the TESDA skills certificate is now recognised globally,” she said. The skills assessment and certification, Baldoz explained, will enable migrant workers to move to a higher level of skills that will open up opportunities to higher-paying jobs and better working conditions. The “Project on Strengthening Labour Migration Management Capacities in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Nepal, and the Philippines for Replication in Other Colombo Process Member-States” sought to enhance dialogue between countries of origin, transit, and destination to promote safe and orderly migration that protects migrant workers. It also sought to improve the capacity of government and private recruitment agencies to effectively carry-out recruitment monitoring, and to promote access to information for potential and current migrants and migrant communities on the migration process, legal employment opportunities, migrants’ rights, and the risks of irregular migration. Its key beneficiaries in the Philippines included the DOLE and its offices (POEA, OWWA, ILAB, NRCO, Regional Offices); local government units; Public Employment Service Offces; recruitment industry associations; NGOS and civil society organizations; Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) /Pre-Employment Overseas Seminar (PEOS) providers and trainers; OFW Family Circles; Migrant Workers Associations; Career Guidance Counselors’ organizations; and the media. END/cathzV

Created Mar 11th 2015, 15:24


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