DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello
MANILA — Licensed recruitment agencies are now required to assist applicants for overseas jobs who were stranded locally due to quarantine restrictions, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said on Sunday.
And in order to provide relief to legitimate manpower exporters, their payment of additional escrow deposit has been suspended for two years to help them cope with the impact of the pandemic.
Bello said the governing board of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has approved late last week separate resolutions directing all PRAs (Philippine Recruitment Agencies) to help their stranded applicants, and allowing the withdrawal of their escrow deposits in excess of P1 million.
Bello is chair of the POEA board.
In Governing Board Resolution No. 11, private recruitment agencies are ordered to act on issues or complaints brought to their attention and to closely monitor and to submit report on the status and condition of their respective processed OFWs whose deployments were deferred on the account of community quarantine restriction.
POEA also instructed PRAs to help overseas employment applicants currently housed in their accommodations and those who were promised or assured employment assistance.
“All PRAs are directed to assist the locally stranded individuals, which shall include but not limited to, temporary accommodation or shelter, food, COVID-19 test, and transportation back to their respective provinces,” Bello said.