Press Release
November 7, 2023

Bong Go seeks justice for Filipino job seekers in Italy victimized by reported recruitment scam

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go has demanded justice for the alleged illegal recruitment and human trafficking that has affected numerous Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) applicants in Italy.

The Philippine consulate in Milan and the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) have now intervened to assist the over 400 job seekers, who have been victimized by the illegal recruitment scheme, which reportedly involves Alpha Assistenza SRL.

Go has urged the DMW and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to extend their full support to the affected individuals. He has also called on the Department of Justice (DOJ) to conduct a rigorous investigation into the matter.

"Kailangan nating siguraduhin na ang bawat Pilipino, nasaan man sa mundo, ay protektado at hindi biktima ng panloloko. Hindi natin papayagan ang ganitong klaseng krimen lalo na kung ang OFWs na tinuturing pang bagong bayani ang bibiktimahin," said Go.

"Mahirap ang mawalay sa sariling pamilya para lang mabigyan ng mas magandang kinabukasan ang mga anak. Huwag natin hayaan na sa kagustuhan nilang guminhawa ang kanilang buhay ay sila pa ang maloloko ng mga mapangsamantalang mga tao," he asserted.

The senator also highlighted the importance of cooperation and transparency in the ongoing probe.

"Hinihikayat ko ang lahat ng sangkot na maging bukas at makipagtulungan sa imbestigasyon. Ang katotohanan ay dapat magdala ng hustisya sa mga salarin," he added.

As vice chairperson of the Senate Committee on Migrant Workers, Go said he is willing to participate in a Senate hearing regarding the illegal recruitment issue following a resolution filed by Senator Raffy Tulfo. He emphasized his support for the need to investigate in aid of legislation to ensure such crimes do not happen again.

"Magtutulungan tayo para mas mapalakas pa ang ating mga batas laban sa illegal recruitment at human trafficking. Dapat walang makalusot, at kailangang mabigyan ng hustisya ang ating mga kababayan," he urged.

The senator also called for a collective effort to safeguard the rights of Filipino workers worldwide.

"Bayanihan ang kailangan para maprotektahan ang ating mga OFW. Hindi tayo titigil hangga't hindi nakakamit ang hustisya para sa kanila," Go concluded.

The government has already promised legal aid to the Filipinos scammed in Italy, while Italian lawyers are set to assist the victims in filing a class suit against the accused firms. The DMW is also collaborating with the DOJ to document and investigate the complaints.

The victims were reportedly lured into paying large sums of money in exchange for employment in hotels and restaurants in Italy. Many victims reportedly found out that work permits provided by Alpha Assistenza SRL were fake after they had already paid the agency. When they demanded a refund, they were issued checks with no funds.

On its website, Alpha Assistenza SRL claims to provide immigration services, working through "effective regulation of immigration and citizenship consultants" and promoting the use of authorized immigration representatives. Alpha Assistenza SRL has vowed to cooperate with the government investigation. The agency's legal counsel indicated the company's willingness to participate and answer the allegations in the proper forum.

Go has been a staunch supporter of the welfare of OFWs and was one of the authors and co-sponsors of Republic Act 11641, which led to the establishment of the DMW.

"The DMW Act was designed to protect our OFWs. Now, more than ever, it's time to put this law into action to protect our kababayans," Go emphasized.

Go also filed Senate Bill No. (SBN) 2414 or the "OFW Ward Act." If passed into law, every hospital under the Department of Health (DOH) across the country will have a specialized ward for OFWs and their family members who require hospitalization.

Go has also filed SBN 2297, which seeks to institutionalize the OFW Hospital in Pampanga and ensure its continuous operation by providing sufficient support through necessary funding, personnel, and equipment. The bill aims to improve healthcare services for OFWs and their families by strengthening the existing facility and allocating necessary funds for its maintenance and operation.

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