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Duterte to place OFW recruitment under government supervision

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By Argyll Geducos

President Duterte said that the government will soon be supervising the process of recruitment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to finally put a stop to illegal recruitment, saying most cases of such act end up with Filipinos being abused and even killed while working abroad.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his speech following the oath-taking ceremony of his son, Vice Mayor Sebastian Duterte, at the Sangguniang Panlungsod in Davao City on June 21, 2019. (JOEY DALUMPINES / PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (JOEY DALUMPINES / PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Duterte made the statement as he led the Araw ng Pasasalamat for OFWs in Quezon City Friday evening.

In his speech, Duterte said that he does not really want to control the recruitment process but the number of Filipinos being abused and even killed overseas prompted him to act.

“Ayaw ko man yung ganoon (I don’t want to do it). It’s a market-driven economy. Pero kung ganoon naman araw-araw na lang ang Pilipino nagdurusa (But if Filipinos will be suffering every day), I think I have to act,” he said.

Duterte then said that he wants the Department of OFW to be established by December so the government can oversee the recruitment process. He is also thinking of creating an office for OFW and for seafarers by August.

“Kaya apurahin ko ‘yang Department of OFW. Bawal na ang recruitment sa labas. Kung gusto nila, diyan sila maglagay ng mesa. So under the supervision of government at walang horrendous charges (That’s why I want the Department of OFW already. No one is allowed to recruit outside government. If you want to, then set your tables there. It will be under the supervision of government and there will be no horrendous charges),” he said.

“Let me sleep on it for about… August. [By] Second week of August meron na akong (I would have a decision)… Maybe I can create the Office of OFW. Pati yung isa meron pa ako, yung sa marino (Even one for seafarers). A marine bureau. Ganoon din ang ano (It’s the same thing). It’s always the case of bad recruitment, starting with a bad recruitment tapos kawawa yung Pilipino (and the Filipino would suffer because of it),” he added.

“Government supervision and control because what has happened and has been happening is not acceptable to the Filipino now,” he added.

Duterte then told recruitment agencies to shape up as their days are now numbered.

“I have the power to do that because that kind of mechanism of recruiting Filipino workers abroad has been abused and abused and abused. At ang mga kababayan ko puro biktima, puro kawawa (My fellowmen are the poor victims here),” he said.

“Kaya kayong mga recruitment, bilang talaga ang araw ninyo. Pag hindi ko kayo nadala sa usapan na maganda, brasuhan tayo. Pag nagbrasuhan tayo, kayo ang matatalo, sigurado. Narinig ninyo (So to these recruitment agencies, your days are numbered. If I can’t talk to you, then we will have a problem. And when we do, you will surely lose. You hear me)?” he added.

Under this proposal, Duterte said no recruitment agency would be allowed to operate outside the government. Those found doing so will be arrested.

“Government control na. Ilagay ko sa supervision… Inaabuso ng mga putang ina, eh. Lagyan ko ng focus (It will be under the government’s supervision because it is being abused. I want to focus on it), not because of anything but because of the agony and suffering na nangyari sa mga Filipino nitong… itong putang inang recruitment-recruitment. Palpak ganoon. Kaya pag mag-recruitment ka sa labas, huli ka (of Filipinos because of these recruitment agencies. So if you operate outside the government, you will be arrested),” he said.

“Doon ka sa opisina sa gobyerno magtayo ng opisina. So para kayong tindahan, paramihan na lang kayo ng suki (Set up your office with the government. You will be like a market there, gather up your patrons). But the processing will be controlled, will be under the supervision of the government. And in that way, ma-solve na natin ‘yang kalokohan (we can finally resolve this nonsense),” he added.

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