THERE are still many undocumented overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) owing to the continued proliferation of illegal recruiters and human traffickers in this impoverished Southeast Asian nation.
Even the biggest organized legitimate recruitment agencies lamented the lack of substantial results in the government’s nationwide campaign against illegal recruitment and human smuggling.
In fact, the nefarious activities of these erring recruiters and traffickers continue to place the licensed and legitimate agencies in a bad light not only in the Philippines but throughout the world.
Last week, leaders of the Coalition of Licensed Agencies for Domestic and Service Workers (CLADS) and the Overseas Placement Association of the Philippines (OPAP) met with Secretary Eduardo Ano of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).
CLADS and OPAP wanted Ano to call on local government units (LGUs) to support the Duterte administration’s efforts to rid the manpower export industry of illegal recruiters and human traffickers.
Admittedly, LGUs are in a position to help the DILG in spreading awareness on proper recruitment procedures at the barangay (village) level to stamp out illegal recruitment activities.
Everybody ought to remember that the Philippines remains as one of the world’s principal sources of highly-dependable nurses, teachers, seafarers, laborers and household service workers.
It is certainly lamentable that many of the country’s licensed nurses, teachers and midwives are even willing to work in foreign lands as domestic helpers, caregivers and salesladies.
This is understandable because of the insultingly low pay of workers in the government and private sector.
Thus, like other Filipinos, particularly the millions of overseas job applicants, we cannot overemphasize the importance of hitting hard at illegal recruiters and human smugglers.