By Roy Mabasa
A Manila-based recruitment agency and its Polish principal were ordered to halt from further recruiting Filipino drivers to Europe until the issue of the OFWs’ harsh working and living conditions are resolved.
This developed after authorities in Denmark, Germany and Poland have initiated separate investigations on the plight of the more than 60 Filipino drivers whose deployment status were found in deplorable conditions.
The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) issued the prevention order against United Primover Enterprise Inc (UPEI) and its principal, HBT Transport Internationale, according to a statement issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Sunday night.
To date, the Philippine Embassies and Consulates in Oslo, Berlin, and Warsaw are working with various local government and nongovernment authorities in those key European cities to uphold the rights of the Filipino truck drivers.
On October 30, the Danish police raided a property in Padborg near the German border and found the Filipino drivers living in “slum-like” conditions in containers.
The raid in Padborg has also caught the attention of a European Parliament member who described the treatment of the Filipino drivers as “inhumane.”
“Their living conditions are inhumane. In many respect, it’s hard to imagine human beings living like this,” EU Parliament member Rina Ronja Kari said in a video posted on a Copenhagen-based online news platform.
Last week, another batch of 40 Filipino drivers from Germany and Poland have surfaced after they complained of substandard and deplorable living and employment conditions.