By XIANNE ARCANGEL, GMA News
The day of reckoning will soon arrive for Philippine overseas labor attaches who are slow in helping distressed migrant Filipino workers.
Incoming Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III on Sunday said he will order a performance audit of all labor attaches when his tenure starts under the Duterte administration.
“We have to conduct a performance audit of our labor attachés around the world. Marami tayong labor attachés na imbes na asikasuhin ang kapakanan ng ating migrant workers, ang inaasikaso ay ang sarili nilang kapakanan at the expense of our OFWs,” he told Super Radyo dzBB on Sunday.
Bello, currently the congressional representative of 1-BAP party-list, lamented the inaction of some labor attaches when distressed OFWs come to them for help.
“Alam naman nating maraming nagiging biktima ng exploitation, harassment, ng mga recruitment agencies—kukunin ka, ito ang kontrata, ito ang gagawin mo, ito ang sweldo mo pero pagdating mo, iba na. Nakaltasan na ang sweldo mo, masama ang trato ng amo mo sa iyo at di ka inaalagaan ng ating mga labor attaches diyan,” he said.
In addition to evaluating the performances of labor envoys posted abroad, Bello said he will also form a task force that will crack down on illegal recruiters round the clock.
He asked the public to help in the Department of Labor and Employment’s campaign against illegal recruiters so their operations could be halted immediately.
“Kailangan namin ng tulong ng tao diyan kasi maraming nagrereklamo diyan pero pagdating ng panahon, hindi naman sila nagbibigay ng sapat na information,” the lawmaker said.
For the long-term, Bello said he will push for a review of laws regarding illegal recruitment to see how they can be implemented efficiently.
He said he is also mulling on asking Congress to pass laws that will strengthen the existing safeguards against illegal recruitment, and provide for stiffer penalties against illegal recruiters. — APG, GMA News