OFWs warned vs Pinay recruiters in Macau

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THE Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has warned Filipino workers and tourists looking for jobs in Macau to be extra cautious in accepting offers from other Filipinos for supposed work in mainland China.

In a report, the POEA said that Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) had endorsed the case of a Filipina household service worker in Macau who alleged that she was recruited by a Filipina named Pia Ciabacal to work in the mainland.

According to the DFA, the OFW went to Macau as a tourist and was able to get a job as a household service worker.

Ciabacal then allegedly offered the victim work in Beijing as a domestic worker with a monthly salary of RMB7,500 per month (or HK$9,250).

The domestic worker was able to enter and work in China but the employer refused to pay her any salary for her services. They even confiscated her passport and cellular phone, the DFA said.

It added that Ciabacal and other Filipinos in Macau allegedly work as agents for a certain Chinese recruiter known only as “Fancy.” Fancy allegedly owns an establishment called MMC Enterprises located at a “Beleno Shop” in Macau.

According to the POEA, the Beleno shop acts as a “front” for MMC, which “clandestinely operates as a recruitment agency targeting unsuspecting Filipinos and Indonesians.”

The POEA earlier warned Filipino household service workers in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Cyprus against transferring to other countries, particularly Dubai, Mongolia, Turkey, and Russia.

It said many OFWs who transferred to these places discovered later on that their working conditions were not what was promised to them, or worse, the job offered was non-existent.

The POEA said the illegal recruiters were mostly foreign nationals who have Filipino partners in their illegal activities.

It added that there were also reports of workers who paid exorbitant fees just so they can travel to the third country using a tourist visa, “even without assurance of employers waiting for them.”

Those who found employment later were sometimes abused by the employers, and for lack of proper work documents, the hapless workers were arrested and deported by immigration authorities, the POEA said.

Recruitment through a third country is considered illegal recruitment if neither the recruiter nor the employer has proper authorization from the Philippine government, it added.

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