The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration warns applicants for overseas jobs against falling prey to unscrupulous recruiters who drag the name of POEA officials in their illegal activities.
Administrator Carlos S. Cao, Jr. said he discovered the new illegal recruitment scheme when two job applicants filed their complaints against a certain Eduardo B. Monserate Jr. who had been recruiting Filipino workers for Guam.
In their sworn statements, the complainants alleged that Monserate promised them jobs in the U.S. Naval Base in Guam as housekeepers or laundry workers with salaries ranging from US$1,200 to US$1,400 a month.
According to the complainants, Monserate represented himself as a nephew of Deputy Administrator Viveca Catalig who had allegedly authorized him to recruit workers under a job order that they negotiated together in Guam.
Catalig has denied the allegations.
“I do not have a nephew or any distant relative named Eduardo Monserate Jr. I am not an Ilonggo as allegedly claimed by Monserate, and I have never been to Guam nor have I negotiated a job order for Guam,” Catalig said.
Catalig, an Ifugao from the Cordillera Region, said her passport can show that she never visited the US Territory.
Monserate also claimed to be working as a bodyguard and driver of a certain Mr. Smith, who allegedly works in the US Embassy and is the supposed broker of the job vacancies in Guam, according to the complainants.
The complainants said Monserate did not ask any placement fee from them but they were told to undergo medical examinations in Bougainville Medical Clinic in Ermita, Manila where he is a messenger.
Monserate allegedly collected from the applicants P3,500 as payment for the tests even without the workers personally presenting themselves at the clinic for the medical exam. The cost of medical examination in other clinics ranges from P1,500 to P2,500.
Administrator Cao said recruitment of workers for Guam has yet to start in 2012 and applicants would have to go through POEA licensed and accredited recruitment agencies and not through direct hiring.
Monserate also collected photocopies of their travel documents such as passports and NBI clearance, the complainants said in their affidavit.
The complainants claimed they were just part of a bigger group of thousands of applicants that may have been victimized by Monserate. The complainants said they were asked by Monserate to share the “good news” on employment opportunities in Guam with their friends and relatives who were subsequently asked by the recruiter to undergo medical tests at the Bougainville Medical Clinic.
They alleged that Monserate had been actively recruiting workers as far as Davao City and Cagayan de Oro City.
The complainants said Monserate even told them that he was an employee of a recruitment agency. Upon verification, the POEA Licensing Branch discovered that Monserate was formerly employed as messenger by a recruitment agency which license was cancelled by the POEA in 2005.
Administrator Cao enjoins other applicants who may have been victimized by Monserate to report to the POEA Legal Assistance Division and file their respective complaints that would further strengthen the illegal recruitment cases to be filed against the recruiter.