Press Release
October 29, 2007


Senator Mar Roxas called on the Labor and Foreign Affairs departments to use newly elected barangay officials as conduits to transmit urgent information about illegal recruitment and travel advisories to the public.

Roxas made this suggestion as he welcomed the election of more than half a million barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) officials throughout the country.

"Human trafficking syndicates and illegal recruiters continue to exploit the desire of most Filipinos to look for jobs overseas. We need to equip our new barangay and SK officials with timely and relevant information to prevent more victims from falling into the web of deceit spun by these recruiters," the senator said.

Whether using new technology or by just posting these advisories on the barangay center's bulletin board, access to information regarding such scams would go a long way in preventing human trafficking and illegal recruitment.

He cited the recent warning issued by the Philippine Embassy in Beijing about a scam being perpetrated by illegal recruiters in the Philippines and China that promises non-existent jobs as domestic helpers in China for a fee of more than PhP100,000.00.

In a report to the Department of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Sonia Cataumber Brady stressed that foreign nationals are not allowed to hold jobs as housekeepers/domestic helpers/nannies in China .

Roxas said lack of information has resulted in a steady increase in the number of illegal recruitment cases.

"News reports on illegal recruitment scams have a very short shelf-life. We need to strengthen the barangay system as a conduit of information to prevent illegal recruitment especially in rural areas," Roxas said.

The senator said prospective job applicants could also use the barangay center as a conduit to checking whether a recruitment agency is legitimate or not. "This can be done in partnership with the Public Service Employment Office that is present in nearly every municipality, city and province in the country," Roxas said.

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