The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has relieved two officials pending investigation of their alleged involvement in illegal recruitment activities.
Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) officer-in-charge Undersecretary Dominador Say said the action taken against the officials, who were not identified, is part of a major revamp among the agency’s officials and personnel allegedly involved in illegal activities.
“Pending the final determination as based on investigation result, we still cannot say where they are involved, but what we can say at the moment are those who are holding sensitive positions,” Say said.
“Those who are easy prey to temptations will be removed plus other reports we have been receiving na consistent naman hindi lang once o twice na nasa natatanggap naming report,” he said in a press briefing on Tuesday.
Say added that also being investigated are presidential appointees in the agency.
“‘Those included in the reports or feedback, they will be relieved from the posts. Again this is pending investigation, they will be relieved for the meantime so they won’t be involved further. If circumstances warrant we will let the Secretary Silvestre Bello III decide kung ire-recommend for their termination kasi karamihan sa mga ito ay presidential appointees,” he said.
On the other hand, POEA officer-in-charge Bernard Olalia said that also included in the revamp are 40 guards and 40 janitors.
“Malungkot man aminin pero may mga report kasi tayo na nagagamit ang mga security guards and janitors sa mga illegal activities, either ginagawa silang bagman o runner, eto ang napakasakit kasi ‘yung mga security guards na dapat merong trabaho e nagagamit ng mga tiwaling opisyal kaya bingyan din natin ng pagkakataon na imbestigahan din ito, kung dapat palitan papalitan po natin,” he said.
Say added that at least four licensed recruitment agencies, which are also supposedly involved in the illegal activities, are likewise being investigated.
Earlier, the DOLE ordered the temporary suspension of the processing of Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) at the POEA in connection with the supposed illegal recruitment activities.
To note, the OEC processing has been suspended from November 13 to December 1.
The POEA estimates that some 75,000 new and returning OFWs would be affected by the temporary suspension.