How To Avoid Illegal Recruitment


"Illegal Recruitment, Menace of the Society"


Courtesy of: International Skill Development, Inc.


To paraphrase former POEA Administrator Tomas D. Achacoso, "illegal recruitment is one of the most detestable crimes a Filipino can commit to another Filipino. It so debases a man that victims including their kin suffer in the consequent loss of face and properties and possible ostracism in the community. It is a crime that has brought about misery to thousands of innocent victims and their families".


Every year hundreds of victims suffer financially and emotionally while the perpetrator enjoys the loot of their crimes. Some come forward and complain others (true Filipino trait) remain silent in shame. Illegal recruitment has caused some families to break up. Criminal cases crop up as a result of non-payment of loans obtained to settle placement fees for non-existing jobs abroad. Others had gone to the highlands and joined leftist group rather than face their creditors and be subjected to humiliation by friends, neighbors and even family members.


Campaign against illegal recruitment has been one of the major activities of several offices of the government. DOLE and POEA, the front-runner of this campaign, including Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), Philippine National Police and National Bureau of Investigation vigorously joined forces together to fight and eradicate illegal recruitment activities. Are they successful? The answer would be, no. Illegal recruitment cases maybe lesser in numbers as compared in the 80's, but this not necessarily mean illegal recruitment has been eradicated. Illegal recruiters are still out there waiting for innocent dreamers of high paying job.


But how to eradicate illegal recruitment? Illegal recruitment has been with us for so long yet it seems that not much has been done about it. We all know that illegal recruitment is a crime. But why let ourselves be a victim after all? Is it because we want to gamble, win and take it all? Or it is a simple failure on our part to recognize what is genuine and what is not.


The keywords are failure to recognize what is genuine and what is not. No person in his right mind would like to be gypped. Walang taong gustong maloko.


Illegal recruitment is pure and simple "Pangloloko" and illegal recruiters are con artists and masters in the art of fraud and cheating.


Therefore the best way to eradicate illegal recruitment is for us to recognize what is genuine and what is not.


Who Performs Illegal Recruitment?


Illegal recruitment activities are being practiced by the following:


  • Illegal Recruiters 
  • Unlicensed Recruitment Agencies 
  • Unscrupulous Licensed Agencies


How to Spot an Illegal Recruiters?


  • He is a sweet talker. Magandang magsalita. 
  • He had worked abroad. Kahit hindi. 
  • He knows somebody in the POEA, DFA, Embassy, Recruitment Agency, etc. 
  • He sports fancy and expensive jewelries. 
  • He conducts his recruitment activities in a restaurant or similar establishment. 
  • He is always seen in the provinces looking for victims accompanied by local accomplices. 
  • He offers very high salary, good accommodation, and other superior employment terms, which you cannot resist. 
  • He will accompany you in a recruitment agency, leave you in the waiting area, enter the main office and re-appear after several minutes and tell you "ayan pare, ok ka na. Lalakad ka na next week". For all you know, he merely asked some questions inside not related to your application. 
  • He will ask for initial payment for processing of your papers and tells you, you can leave one week after paying in full and further tells you, "pare, puwede ka nang mag padespedida". 
  • More likely he will contradict his previous statements on the status of your processing.


How to Detect Unlicensed Recruitment Agencies


  • Look for POEA issued stickers. All licensed agencies are issued one and required to be posted in conspicuous place, in front door or windows of the office. Make sure this is validated for the current year. 
  • Call POEA Licensing and Regulation Division at telephone numbers 721-0650 & 721-9498 and check status and validity of the license. They might have license but has been suspended for some irregularities.


How to Detect Unscrupulous Licensed Agencies

  • They handle your passporting requirements and charge your exorbitant fees 
  • They collect medical fee and send you to the clinic 
  • They charge you for your application form 
  • They will never issue you a receipt for your payment 
  • They will ask initial payment of your placement fee 
  • They charge more than what is legal (One month salary)


How to Avoid Being a Victim

  • Never deal with any person posing us a recruiter, even though he is a friend or acquaintance. 
  • Never apply with unlicensed agencies. 
  • Do your passporting yourself. Do not entrust this to an agent. Makakatipid ka pa. 
  • Do not pay until you sign your employment contract. 
  • Always demand for a receipt for all your payments. 
  • Do not transact business or officer of a licensed agency outside their office.


What to do if you become a Victim

  •  File a formal complaint with the police authorities 
  • Advise POEA accordingly 
  • File a case against the perpetrator 
  • Do not desist from or lose interest in pursuing your case against the illegal recruiter even though he reimbursed you partially or in whole. You can make the difference. The next victims might be your friends or relatives.