2 recruitment firms suspended for deploying minors

MANILA The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Thursday ordered the immediate suspension of two licensed recruitment agencies for deploying minors as household service workers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the agencies, LGH International Services and the Side International Manpower Inc., are now facing administrative and criminal charges for the recruitment of two young Filipino women.

The manpower agencies will also be slapped with a fine ranging from PHP500,000 to PHP1 million.

Once found guilty of administrative charges, the licenses of the recruitment firms may be permanently revoked.

On the other hand, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) chief Bernard Olalia said LGH International Services is responsible for deploying a 17-year-old in Riyadh, while the Side International Manpower Inc., recruited a 14-year-old in Jeddah.

These two agencies clearly violated the POEA rules and guidelines for engaging in illegal recruitment and human trafficking that put the security and welfare of two minors at risks and under exploitative practices, Olalia said in a statement.

He noted that they are closely coordinating with the Department of Foreign Affairs and with other concerned agencies for the investigation on the minor's fake documents, including their fabricated passports.

We are disclosing this information to make the public aware of the illegal practices of these agencies, especially those seeking employment overseas. Illegal recruitment and human trafficking have no place in overseas employment, Olalia said.

Both minors were among the abused and maltreated overseas Filipino workers who were repatriated earlier this week and are now reunited with their families.

The government has provided them with necessary reintegration assistance such as livelihood programs. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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