POEA warns illegal recruiters anew

Published October 17, 2020, 4:31 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) confirmed that three illegal recruiters were sentenced for 14 and 20 years jail time, respectively and were asked to pay fines up to P2 million.

POEA said that an illegal recruiter was sentenced to suffer up to 14 years imprisonment and was ordered by the court to pay a P1-million fine after fraudulently recruiting an applicant to Saudi Arabia. 

The Branch 22 of the Manila Regional Trial Court found Marivic De Guzman Layo guilty of estafa and illegal recruitment by “obtaining money by deception and by engaging in the processing and deployment overseas of a job applicant without the proper authorization” from the agency.

The complainant, POEA said, accused Layo of collecting P15,000 as placement fee without issuance of receipt, as well as of “deploying him in Saudi Arabia without any verified contract.”

According to the complainant, the accused promised him a monthly salary of 2,000 SR plus 300 SR food allowance as “heavy equipment operator.” He later found out, however, that he will be working as “general cleaner” with a basic salary of 1660 SR. The complainant also said he worked for an employer as a heavy equipment operator for one month and 20 days without salary. 

Meanwhile, POEA said that a regional trial court has sentenced two women to 20 years in prison after being found guilty of illegal recruitment.

Branch 19 of the Manila Regional Trial Court convicted Yvette Valdez and Anneli Taytay of illegal recruitment by engaging in the processing and deployment of two overseas Filipino workers (OFW) without proper authorization from the agency.

POEA said that one complainant accused Valdez of collecting P150,000 from her account for the documentation and processing of her documents as a worker in New Zealand, “which did not actually take place.”

The other complainant also accused Valdez, together with Taytay, of collecting P200,000 placement fee for his alleged deployment as a dairy farm worker in New Zealand, “which also did not happen.”

POEA explained that both of the accused “failed to reimburse the expenses of the complainants in connection with their promised deployment.”

Aside from a penalty of 20 years in prison, the court also ordered Valdez to pay a fine of P2 million and P150,000 to one complainant as actual damages. In a separate case, the two women were also directed to pay a fine of P2 million and to jointly pay the other complainant the amount of P200,000 as actual damages.

POEA said it has been receiving numerous reports on illegal recruitment schemes in the past months. It once again warned applicants so they will not get involved with illegal recruiters, particularly with agencies asking for large amounts of placement or processing fees from its clients.