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 POEA tightens screening of low, semi-skilled jobs

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Registration date : 2008-01-06

PostSubject: POEA tightens screening of low, semi-skilled jobs   Thu Jul 09, 2009 4:31 pm

STIFFER DEPLOYMENTListed below are the jobs that require POLO verification for POEA processing.

Low/Semi-skilled female workers bound for all countries except Canada:

1. Aerobic instructress
2. Attendants (gasoline station, food)
3. Baker
4. Beader, embroider, dressmaker, sewer, cutter, seamstress
5. Beautician, beauty consultants, make-up artists, medicinal, manicurist, hairdresser, hairstylist, nail technician
6. Cashier
7. Chambermaid
8. Checker
9. Clerk
10. Cook
11. Customer service assistant
12. Dishwasher
13. Flower arranger/florist
14. Guest relations officer (GRO), receptionist
15. Helper
16. Janitress, cleaner
17. Kitchen helper
18. Laundry woman
19. Masseuse, reflexologist
20. Merchandiser
21. Poultry worker
22. Printer, canvasser
23. Public work, worker
24. Restaurant workers, amusement park worker
25. Sales representative
26. Saleslady, supermarket worker
27. Sandwich maker, sweet maker
28. Secretary
29. Service crew
30. Skin care specialist
31. Storekeeper
32. Telephone operator
33. Waitress

Low/semi-skilled male workers bound for Bahrain:

1. Bartender
2. Butcher
3. Carpenter
4. Liaison officer
5. Machine operator
6. Mason
7. Master cutter
8. Painter
9. Plumber
10. Room boy
11. Tailor

- from POEA Memorandum Circular No. 5 MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has tightened the deployment rules for 44 overseas jobs by adding them to its low and semi-skilled category.

The POEA, through its Memorandum Circular No. 5, said it added 44 more overseas jobs to the low and semi-skilled category “to strengthen the protection mechanism for overseas Filipino workers."

Under POEA regulations, workers under this category are required to have their individual employment contract verified by the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) before they can be processed by the POEA.

“All workers hired for [the listed] position[s] … will not be processed unless the individual employment contracts are verified by the POLO if bound for a country with no POLO presence," the agency said in its circular dated June 15, 2009.

But if the worker is bound for a country with no POLO, the employment contract shall be verified by the nearest POLO or authenticated by the nearest Philippine Embassy.

Memorandum Circular No. 6, on the other hand, listed the requirements for the issuance of exit clearances, individual employment contracts, processing requests, accomplished information sheets, employment visas or work permits; pre-departure orientation seminar certificates from the POEA, language orientation certificates from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), and national certificates from the Technical Education Skills Development Authority (Tesda).

The new rules were formulated amid mounting cases of low- and semi-skilled workers being abused, maltreated or exploited abroad.

‘Ill-advised rules’

A manpower deployment expert, however, said the POEA’s new rules were ill-advised and “disregarded" industry concerns.

“The POEA has chosen to make it difficult for the entire industry members who are deploying genuine low skilled workers," recruitment consultant Emmanuel Geslani said in a statement.

He said the new rules would “frustrate" or “turn off" foreign recruitment offices in receiving countries, specifically those in the Middle East.

“The end result will be a massive drop in deployment starting by the third quarter of 2009," he said.

But according to the Philippine Association of Service Exporters, Inc. (Pasei), this is "just a one-time difficulty."

"From my point of view, that is the best way to do it," said Pasei president Victor Fernandez in an interview with GMANews.TV.

Protection vs “reprocessing"

Moreover, POEA chief Jennifer Manalili told GMANews.TV that they were just taking measures to protect Filipino workers against “reprocessing."

“Reprocessing," as previously defined by recruiters, means using particular job orders to recruit workers into jobs different from the work that they would be given at the jobsite.

She said the 44 overseas jobs listed in the June 15 circular are the most exploited, that’s why they are requiring that POLOs first verify whether the workers have valid job orders.

“We have to stop this system of reprocessing, kawawa naman workers natin [I pity our workers]," said Manalili.

“Kung wala namang ganitong cases [If we didn’t have such cases], why should we [impose such rules]?" she added.

Groups like Center for Migrant Advocacy (CMA) echoed the sentiments of the POEA.

"We should be happy that POEA is concerned with the rights and welfare of our low, semi-skilled workers and wants to protect them from reprocessing," CMA executive director Ellene Sana told GMANews.TV in an e-mail.

She did, however, say that they are still "not happy" with the government's continuing labor export policy.

A study conducted by the Institute for Migration and Development Issues has previously revealed that the top remitters are actually the Filipino workers under the low- and semi-skilled category.

It said that from 2001 to 2007, excluding 2006, plant and machine operators and assemblers remitted the most money among male workers.

Unskilled laborers and workers, on the other hand, remitted the most among female workers during the same time. - GMANews.TV
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