DOLE-NOFO Head, Marites G. Mercado, in her report to DOLE-7 OIC Regional Director Exequiel R. Sarcauga said that the girls, of which, one is a minor, were in the company of a certain Teresita Dalaguit.
Said girls who are all residents of Sitio Kaluy-ahan, Cambagahan, Bais City were allegedly hired to work as household helpers in Dagupan City, Pangasinan, said Mercado.
Initial investigation showed that for every hired household helper, Dalaguit would getP500.00 as commission, she added.
The interception was immediately done right after the port blue guards reported the presence of the apparently minor-looking prompting for the verification of their tickets, birth certificates, and other documents.
“The girls only presented their Barangay Certificates reflecting their status and age. But the authorities further verified the information they gave and called for the assistance of the Provincial Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (PIACAT-Negros Oriental) and other agencies concerned.,” she said further.
The alleged illegal recruiter is now detained at the Dumaguete City Police station who could be facing raps for violation of PD 442 otherwise known as the Labor Code of the Philippines. Rescued girls are already back with their respective families.
The operation was jointly conducted by the DOLE together with the Department of Justice (DOJ); Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG); Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD); Philippine Ports Authority (PPA); and the Visayan Forum Foundation, Inc., a non-government organization working for the welfare of the marginalized migrants especially those in the invisible and informal sectors.
The DOLE’s intensified efforts to deter Child Labor, Illegal Recruitment and Human Trafficking is being consistently undertaken through massive advocacy conducted in different public schools through the “I Fight Movement and World Children’s Prize” of the Visayan Forum in cooperation with the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Samahan at Ugnayan ng Manggagawang Pantahan, Inc. (SUMAPI).
“Children under the movement turn out to be “iFighters” – young advocates in the fight against human trafficking, illegal recruitment and child labor,” explained Mercado, urging further the local residents of Negros Oriental to keep an eye on predatory activities initiated by unlicensed recruiters proliferating locally with the aim of exploiting jobseekers.
Unscrupulous individuals are targeting rural folks because of their vulnerability to human trafficking and illegal recruitment due to extreme poverty and lack of appropriate information, said Director Sarcauga.
“We urge the public to be more cautious of individuals coming to their communities tagging along with them local and overseas job offerings that are too good to be true,” he said, adding that jobseekers should conduct background check of recruitment agencies and company representatives to make sure whether they are legitimate or not.
Overseas hopefuls, for instance, he further said, can visit the official website of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) at www.poea.gov.ph.
Local job applicants can also visit their respective Public Employment Service Offices (PESOs) for verification on the legitimacy of recruitment agencies or companies conducting Special Recruitment Authority.
End//LSenarlo-Taniza with reporting from Bless M. De Padua of NOFO
For more information on this report, you may contact Luchel Senarlo-Taniza, Regional Labor Communication Officer at telefax number (032) 266-2792 or you may send an email at email@example.com
Article from DOLE Regional Office No. 7 Website