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POEA Advocacy for IR-Free Zamboanga Peninsula Region
Thu, Sep 12, 2013 (Source: POEA)
An Illegal Recruitment-free Zamboanga City was essentially the goal of the week-long activities spearheaded by the Philippines Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) involving all stakeholders in the recruitment industry and overseas employment in the City.

The POEA—an attached agency of the Department of Labor and Employment—in partnership with United States Military Information Support Team (US MIST) recently conducted a host of activities affecting overseas employment ranging from Jobs Fair, Orientation Seminars and Trainers’ Trainings.

The Jobs fair jump-started the lined-up activities which was held strategically at Paseo del Pilar, Zamboanga City from August 27-29 and was participated by licensed recruitment agencies operating in the region. POEA Regional Extension Officer, Ms. Marietta Bellotindos expressed her elation during the event’s short program and gave a short discussion on illegal recruitment and human trafficking.

Trailing the said event was a Pre-Employment Orientation Seminar (PEOS) given to all graduating college students of Western Mindanao State University and other tertiary schools in Zamboanga City on August 28. A team of resource speakers from POEA-Manila namely: Atty. Robert Larga, Atty. Jone Fung and Atty. Rodolfo Gabasan, led the discussion on the challenges of working abroad and how to avoid becoming a victim of illegal recruitment. The WMSU Gymnasium served as the event’s venue where a multitude of students converged.

Complementing POEA resource speakers were Atty. Verna Kate Santos and Cyrus Tingcang who talked about the many programs and services on Illegal Recruitment and Human Trafficking of DOLE 9. Mr. Leonilo Daymiel of Overseas Workers’ Welfare Authority 9 (OWWA 9), on the other hand, gave a briefer on OWWA’s welfare services intended for Overseas Filipino Workers.

Highlighting the activities was a couple of trainers’ training and capability enhancement on Illegal Recruitment and Human Trafficking which were successively conducted on August 28-29 in College of Public Administration, WMSU, involving partners from Non-Government Organizations and Barangay LGUs and in Cecilles’ Pension House, Tumaga which was participated by about Thirty (30) PESO Managers.

The events culminated with the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) by DOLE, POEA, and OWWA, local government units (LGUs) in the region as well as several universities. The MOU aims to seal partnerships to prevent recruitment malpractices and protect the rights of would-be migrant workers in the region. Significantly, the Municipal Mayors Maria Esperanza Corazon Rillera (Titay, Zamboanga Sibugay Prov.), George Cainglet (Kabasalan, Zamboanga Sibugay Prov.), Michael Piodena (RT Lim, Zamboanga Sibugay Prov.), Danilo Dalid (Tigbao, Zamboanga del Sur), Onesimo Coma, Jr. (Gutalac, Zamboanga del Norte) Vice-Mayor Mundo Catingub of Talusan, Zamboanga Sibugay Prov. along with other representatives of 6 LGUs have agreed to be bound by the terms of the said MOU.

Meanwhile, DOLE Regional Director, Sisinio B. Cano, in a quoted statement, said that preventive measures on illegal recruitment and human trafficking remain two of the important thrusts of the Department especially considering that the Zamboanga Peninsula region is considered as a “hot spot” of these social menaces.

Cyrus Tingcang, LEO III, DOLE 9

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