DoLE scraps midnight deal on OFW database

September 26, 2019
Silvestre Bello III

THE Department of Labor and Employment has ordered the cancellation of what Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III called a “midnight deal” entered into by a recalled labor official in Hong Kong and a supplier of an online system for the reporting and processing of contracts of overseas Filipino workers in the autonomous Chinese territory.

The decision came following the investigation into the reported irregularities in the procurement of the database system from Polaris Tools Ltd. which was found to be done without public bidding in grave disregard of the procedures of the Philippine procurement law.

Bello also ordered a formal probe of former Hong Kong Labor Attache Jalilo de la Torre to establish his administrative and criminal liability.

Last month, Bello constituted a fact-finding team to look into issues involving POLO officials and systems providers Employeasy Limited and Polaris Tools, both computer systems providers in Hong Kong.

Undersecretary Claro Arellano, head of the fact-finding team, noted that the previous database system used by POLO Hong Kong from 2009 to 2018, which is provided by Employeasy, had no authority from the then DOLE secretary.

“Also, there were no documents that would show the conduct of bidding to replace the expired contract of Employeasy Limited with the supposed new service provider Polaris Tools, indicating “manifest haste and lack of transparency attendant to the said bidding,” he added.