October 4, 2009
The party-list group Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) called on the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) to delist the local placement agency of the Filipino migrant teachers in Louisiana that have filed complaints of illegal recruitment, illegal fees and various labor violations against a US-based manpower firm. PM also welcomed the support of the American Federation of Teachers as it criticized the government’s slow action.
“PARS International Placement Agency is the local partner of the US-based Universal Placement International Inc. which is the subject of the teachers’ complaints. PARS International Placement Agency is listed in the POEA registry of recruitment agencies as good standing and with a license to operate from October 17, 2006 to October 17, 2010. We ask the POEA to motu proprio start the process of delisting PARS International Placement Agency if not it will have one more year to victimize OFW’s,” stated Renato Magtubo, PM chairperson.
In the POEA registry that is available online, http://www.poea.gov.ph/cgi-bin/agList.asp?mode=all, PARS International Placement Agency has an address at Suite 407 J&F Divino Arcade, 961 Aurora Blvd. Cubao, QC with a certain Emilio Villarba as official representative. The Filipino migrant teachers allege though that PARS International Placement and Universal Placement Agency are both owned by Lourdes “Lulu” Navarro, the respondent of the case at the Louisiana Workplace Commission.
PM is pushing for reforms in the overseas employment policy in order to stop the abuse of Filipino migrant workers. It challenged the presidentiables to include such policy reforms in their platform. “If professionals like teachers can become slave labor in a country like the US, no wonder OFW’s by the thousands suffer from abuse, discrimination and indignity across the globe,” Magtubo insisted.
The party-list group is demanding an end to the deregulation of the labor export industry and asking Congress to amend the Migrant Workers Act in this regard. “Government is as much to blame for illegal recruitment and OFW abuse since it keeps on promoting overseas employment while allowing private recruitment agencies to do the actual placement of workers. The pusher should be a worse criminal than the user, as in the case of drugs,” Magtubo argued.
The group is also pushing that Philippine embassies and consulates make the protection of migrant workers its principal work. Magtubo said that “The government must forge labor agreements with receiving countries that will guarantee enforcement of labor standards, social protections and workers rights.”