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POEA given authority to approve recruitment agencies’ licenses

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THE Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has been authorized to approve licenses of recruitment agencies that hire overseas Filipino workers (OFW), the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) said on Friday.

Under the department’s Administrative Order No. 443 Series of 2018, the POEA has also been given the power to “grant exemptions from the age requirement for overseas workers; and issue appropriate orders, decisions and resolutions,” a DoLE press statement said. It added that Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello “ordered POEA to reassume full authority on matters concerning overseas employment.”

As a result, recruitment and placement licenses applications will be filed and processed by the POEA according to existing rules and regulations.

Section 14 of Republic Act 10022 or “An Act Amending Republic Act No. 8042, Otherwise Known as the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act Of 1995, As Amended, Further Improving the Standard of Protection and Promotion of the Welfare of Migrant Workers, Their Families and Overseas Filipinos in Distress” mandates that POEA has powers to act on overseas employment and recruitment matters.

Back in 2017, the labor secretary has assumed authority in the licensing of overseas recruitment agencies after he signed Administrative Order No. 241 which recalled Administrative Order No.144 Series of 1998. AO 144 stated that the POEA has power to act on overseas employment and recruitment matters.

The labor secretary signed AO 241 amid issues that POEA officials were involved in anomalous activities. — Gillian M. Cortez

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