Bonjour. Mabuhay.

Take this info at heart if your planning to apply for overseas job.

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The licenses of two recruitment agencies have been cancelled after they were found be collecting excessive placement fees from Filipinos applying for work overseas.

“The public should be extra cautious when applying for work overseas and report to POEA any observed irregularity,” said Viveca Catalig, Officer-in-Charge of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).

Catalig identified the two agencies as Lucky International Placement Services Inc. and Tai-Fil Manpower Services Inc.

She said a complainant against Lucky International claimed that she was charged P101,000 for her job as caretaker in Taiwan.

Under POEA Governing Board Resolution No. 6, issued in 2006, recruitment agencies are strictly prohibited from collecting any placement fee from applicants for household service worker positions, including caregivers.

Lucky International and its surety company were also ordered to reimburse to the complainant the amount of P79,060 representing the amount illegally collected. In the employment contract, the applicant has the obligation to pay for pre-departure expenses amounting to P21,940.

As a consequence, the officers and directors of the company as of April 2007 were disqualified from engaging in the business of recruitment of Filipino workers for overseas jobs.

Meanwhile, Catalig said Tai-Fil Manpower Services Inc. collected from another complainant in 2008, a placement fee amounting to P100,000 for a job as a food processor, also in Taiwan.

Section 3 of Rule V, Part 2 of the POEA Rules and Regulations prescribes a placement fee ceiling equivalent to a hired worker’s one-month salary. The prevailing salary in Taiwan in 2008 was NT$17,280.00, which is roughly equivalent to P23,000.

POEA also ordered Tai-Fil Manpower to pay a fine of P40,000, and to refund to the complainant the P77,000 excess of the placement fee collected by the recruitment agency.

The agency’s officers and directors at the time the offense was committed were disqualified from engaging in the business of recruitment OFWs.

“Always check the status of your recruitment agencies for your own protection by visiting our website, www.poea.gov.ph or by calling POEA hotlines 722-1144 / 722-1155, and report those that are still recruiting despite the suspension or cancellation of their licenses,” Catalig said.