WITHDRAWAL OF APPLICATIONS: 10 MYTHS AND FACTS PART II
From Www.OFWGuideForum.com, Jun 8, 2015
7. Threatening the applicant of imprisonment for withdrawal of applications
On account of the withdrawal of applications, the recruiter would threaten the applicant concern of possible criminal charges and imprisonment of the same unless there would be reconsideration of his/her decision of withdrawing its applications and take the job offered by employers.
This is the most ignorant-type of explanation (a cent short of imbecility). There is nothing in the Revise Penal Code or in any special laws that would punish someone for the mere act of withdrawal of applications either for overseas or local work. Not being a crime, there is no legal basis to institute criminal proceedings against the applicant and the thought of imprisonment is only a wishful thinking of fairy tales fanatic owners/officers of local recruitment agencies. If an applicant did not commit any crime at all, why worry of the threat? On the contrary, it should be the agency that has to worry because violation of the law (e.g. Labor Code and R.A. 8042) warrants criminal prosecution especially in cases involving illegal recruitment which can be committed in various ways.
8. Involving the law enforcement agencies for refusal of the agency to return documents submitted by applicant
Applicant who, for one reason or another, decides to withdraw their application from a particular agency either before, during or after the processing of their papers and before departure demands the return of the documents submitted (e.g. passport, TOR, diploma, NBI Clearance, etc.) but the recruitment agency concern refuses to do so unless withdrawal fees are paid. Upon refusal of the recruiter, the applicant would seek the assistance of law enforcement authorities to compel the recruitment agency to release the submitted documents or face possible criminal charges in court for its refusal in violation of (alleged) laws.
The law enforcement authorities (NBI and Police) comes into the picture only if there is a crime involved. In cases of applications for overseas work, only if there is a clear violation of the law (Labor Code, R.A. 8042 and POEA Rules and Regulations governing recruitment and placement of overseas workers) especially in cases of illegal recruitment, would it be proper to solicit the assistance of these agencies in order to protect their rights as enshrined in the law.
Withdrawal of applications (to include withdrawal of documents submitted) and the eventual refusal of the agency concerned to permit such withdrawal without reimbursing certain expenses incurred in relation to the processing of papers of the applicant do not amount to a crime. And since there is no crime, the law enforcement authorities have no business interfering with personal matters between the agency and applicant. It is also within the right of the agency to demand reimbursement for certain expenses arising from processing of papers of applicant since it is the applicant who caused the withdrawal and not the agency concerned.
9. Withdrawal of documents
The applicant may withdraw whatever documents he/she submitted to the agency at any time of the application process either before, during, or after the processing of papers and is not required to pay any withdrawal fees since there is no successful placement and deployment of workers overseas to speak off. The applicant has every right to withdraw his/her application for whatever reason it may be.
There are two scenarios regarding withdrawal of documents: first, withdrawal of documents submitted before processing of papers; and second, withdrawal of documents during or after the processing of papers.
Withdrawal of documents submitted can be easily done if the applicant decides to withdraw his/her documents after the filing of application or even after he/she was offered a job but later on decided to refuse to accept the offer for whatever reason, valid or not, but the same must be done prior to the processing of papers. In this case, the applicant need not make a withdrawal letter nor pay withdrawal fees because the agency did not incur any expenses yet relative to the processing of papers of the applicant. Depending on the agency, withdrawal of documents can be made only on a particular date and time usually Saturday.
However, withdrawal of documents made during or after the processing of papers by the agency (e.g. visa, POEA job order accreditation, etc.) can only be made after payment of withdrawal fee corresponding to the expenses incurred by the agency in relation to the processing of papers of the applicant. The amount of withdrawal fee varies from one agency to another.
Typically, only machine copies of required documents (e.g. passport, NBI clearance, TOR, diploma, PRC license, employment certificates, trainings/seminar certificate, NSO birth certificate and CENOMAR) are submitted to the agency whenever applying for any of the advertised overseas work. Other agencies, however, require the submission of original passport and PRC license during the application stage which should be strictly avoided by applicants to avoid any problems thereafter. When an applicant would be offered job by the employer, the agency usually require the submission of original passport, PRC license and perhaps DFA authenticated TOR and diploma for visa and POEA processing of papers purposes. When the applicant would submit the original documents required by the agency (e.g. passport, NBI clearance, PRC license and DFA authenticated TOR and diploma), the processing of papers commences to run and the agency would to start to incur expenses along the way. So that when the applicant decides to withdraw his/her application for whatever reason it may be, the recruiter has every right to charge the applicant a withdrawal fee as reimbursement for expenses incurred relative to the processing of papers of the applicant. The applicant cannot do anything except to pay the withdrawal fees in exchange for the withdrawal of documents submitted.
Of the document submitted, it is only the passport and PRC license which is essential since it would take time to replace them. Other documents such as TOR, diploma, NBI clearance, employment/training/seminar certificate can be secured again in a short period of time. Since time, money and effort are considered essential elements in applying for overseas work, the continuous refusal of the recruitment agency to return original passport, PRC license and other machine copies documents unless the required withdrawal fee is paid, would prolong the timeframe of waiting time of applicants and perhaps re-start the whole application process again in other agencies.
10. Withdrawal Fees
Local recruitment agencies charge exorbitant withdrawal fees to include the processing of papers cost, placement fee, service fee and even airline tickets for applicant who withdrew their application either before, during or after the processing of papers with POEA, payment of POEA mandated fees (e.g. OWWA Membership Fee, PDOS Fee) and visa from concerned embassy of the country of destination.
There is a big difference if withdrawal of application is made either before the processing of papers or during/after the processing of papers.
Should an applicant decides to withdraw his/her application even before the processing of his/her papers by the agency, he/she is not expected to pay any withdrawal fees because the agency still did not incur any expenses in relation to the processing of papers. The only possible consequence of withdrawal of application at this stage is the applicant might be blacklisted, so to speak, by the agency and the employer. In some instances, the applicant is even being branded unprofessional by these agencies perhaps because they failed to make any money out of the applicants.
However, the case is different if an applicant decides to withdraw his/her application when the agency had already started or finished processing papers relative to his/her deployment as they would already be incurring or had already incurred expenses. Aside from requiring applicants to write a formal withdrawal letter (whatever name they call it) and sometimes a personal talk or letter address to the employer explaining reasons of withdrawal, the applicants are also require to pay withdrawal fee (which is legally allowed) equivalent to the cost spent by the agency in processing the papers of the applicant.
The moral of the story: before an applicant decides to withdraw his/her application at any stage of the application process, he/she should first weigh the corresponding consequence if the withdrawal of application is made.
- Would it be to his/her advantage or not?
- Is there a legitimate reason for the withdrawal?
- Would the applicant be willing to re-start the whole application process again in other agencies?
- Are we ready to throw everything away?
Remember, the withdrawal of application will cost the applicants not only money but also time and effort.
Whether the reason for withdrawal of application is for good reason or not, it is up to the applicants to decide. Is it a DEAL or NO DEAL?