SEVERAL GROUPS of recruitment agencies for Overseas Filipinos Workers (OFWs) gathered Monday to sign a joint manifesto expressing support to Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III.
“Kami po mga job providers, sa adminstration ni Silvestre Bello III, napakarami po ang naiayos lalo na po mga welfare and protection ng mga OFWs. Kami po makikipagtulong sa kanya (For us job prividers, many issues were settled under Silvestre Bello III’s administration, especially the welfare and protection of OFWs),” Lucita C. Sermona, Coalition of Licensed Agencies for Domestic and Service Workers (CLADS) president, said in a press conference in Metro Manila.
Association for Manpower Agencies for Bahrain (AMBA) President Thelma V. Uanang, for her part, said she is ready to testify in court should the complaints against Mr. Bello reaches the Ombudsman.
They also denounced recruitment agency owners Azziza Salim and Amanda Lalic-Araneta for allegedly making false allegations against the labor secretary.
The two have publicly claimed that Mr. Bello extorted money from them in exchange for the reversal of the cancellation of their respective agencies’ licenses.
“Kung ano man problema nila, huwag sila mangdamay kasi kami ay hindi tulad nila. Kung kami ay may violation, nilalaban natin yan sa tamang proseso (Whatever their problem is, they should not involve us because we aren’t like them. If ever we have a violation, we deal with it through the proper process),” said Philippine Association of Manpower Agencies accredited to Taiwan (PILMAT) President Aida C. Gerodias.
Ms. Gerodias said the two recruiters should refrain from “trial by publicity” against Mr. Bello.
Other recruitment agency organizations present for the manifesto signing were: Philippines Association of Agencies for Kuwait (PHILAAK), Overseas Placement Association of the Philippines (OPAP), Association of Philippine Licensed Agencies for Technical Internship Program (APLATIP), Philippine Association of Manpower Agencies for the United Arab Emirates (PAMA-UAE), Philippine Association of Recruitment Agencies for Qatar, Philippine Recruitment Agencies Accredited to Saudi Arabia (PRAASA), PAAO, Philippine Association of Mediterranean Agencies Deploying Labor (PAMADEL), Philippine Association of Manpower Agencies for Jordan (PAMAJOR), Philippine Association of Manpower Agencies for Brunei-Philippines (AMBRUPHIL). — Gillian M. Cortez