POEA Cancels License of Agency Recruiting OFWs in Canada, Ban its Overseas Partner
An agency that recruits Filipino workers to Canada, Nanhaya International Recruitment, Inc. loses its license for allegedly violating laws on Philippine overseas employment. The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) also bans Go West International, its partner placement agency in Canada from recruiting workers from the Philippines.
According to an advisory posted in the official website of POEA, Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac said that the complaint against Nanhaya was initiated by their agency on September 2012 because of the following violations: illegal collection of placement fee, misrepresentation, and other recruitment violations.
Meanwhile, Go West faces charges of violations on placement fee policy, rules and regulations on overseas employment and other laws based on a memo by the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Canada.
The Labor Attache of POLO in Toronto, Frank Luna reported that they have rescued six (6) OFWs in Canada who ran away from their employers and seek shelter at a nearby church. The 6 workers were recruited by Nanhaya for a supposed job at EPP Farms in Niagara Falls.
However, in the complaint submitted by the workers, they claimed that upon arriving in Canada, representatives of Go West brought them to JEM Farms instead. They were forced to be laborers for the construction of a large greenhouse when they were hired to work as fruit pickers and field workers.
Aside from that, they were made to work beyond regular working hours but are not compensated for overtime pay. Their accommodation is a small room packed with three double beds which they even need to pay 80 cents per hours worked.
The workers also said that all of them paid Php125,000 to Nanhaya agency and another Php65,000 for Go West.
The POEA chief in its order of cancellation of license for Nanhaya said that this agency disobeyed the prohibition on collection of placement fees. Nanhaya is also guilty of misrepresentation because they registered a foreign employer, EPP Farms but then deployed their workers to a different company, JEM Farms.
The Pilot Project of the Government of Canada requires the employer to shoulder all recruitment costs in hiring foreign workers as compliance to the POEA’s Memorandum Circular No. 3, Series of 2007. Cacdac said that Nanhaya and its surety should refund the placement fees collected from the workers.