Task force vs. illegal recruitment, human trafficking formed

MANILA The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) announced on Friday that it has formed a new task force against illegal recruitment and trafficking including the recruitment of minor workers.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, through Administrative Order No. 551, created the task force aimed at intensifying its fight to curb such illegal activities to further safeguard the welfare of the Filipino workers from unscrupulous recruiters and syndicates.

The group will be headed by Undersecretary Jacinto Paras, with the Administrator of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) as vice chair, and the Director of Bureau of Local Employment as member.

The other members include the heads of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), International Labor Affairs Bureau (ILAB), and Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns.

Despite efforts to eliminate illegal recruitment, trafficking in persons, and recruitment of minor workers, reports indicate that these social menaces continue to proliferate and pose continuing threats to Filipino workers, Paras said in a press conference.

Among the general functions of the group is to develop and execute strategies and schemes against the modus operandi of illegal recruiters, as well as recommend their prosecution to the labor secretary.

It also has the power to conduct surveillance and entrapment operations of persons believed engaged in illegal recruitment, and cause or direct the immediate investigation and speedy prosecution of cases involving illegal recruitment.

The task force's operational and law enforcement arm will be the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG).

POEA figures show that there are 156 victims of illegal recruitment from June 18 to October 2018 alone, an alarming case considering it happened in a short period of time. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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