POEA Files Charges Against 19 Manning Agencies

Last September 19 Filipino manning agents have been charged with illegal recruitment activities. Among these companies where names affiliated with well known ship managing companies. POEA’s Operations and Surveillance Division, assisted by detectives, sent personnel at Luneta Seafarer’s Center in Ermita, Manila pretending to be jobseekers in order to discover if illegal recruitment activities were being conducted in the area.

POEA’s operatives discovered that recruitment activities were being conducted in Luneta Seafarer’s Center in Ermita by manning agents whose registered offices where being located elsewhere according to their issued licenses. This is considered to be illegal since recruitment activities outside the registered offices of a licensed recruitment or manning agency are not allowed without the special recruitment authority (SRA) issued by the POEA. The SRA is the authority granted by the POEA to a licensed agency to conduct recruitment outside the registered office or address stated in the license of an agency or its acknowledged additional office or offices.

Due to reported recruitment malpractices, the POEA stopped in May 2009, the issuance of SRA to manning agencies and ordered those occupying booths at the Luneta Seafarers’ Center to end their recruitment activities or face administrative sanctions. Moreover, manning agents were forbidden to post salary rates on the premises.

The POEA-PNP team reported that representatives from manning agencies handed them company brochures, calling cards, and flyers listing their respective job openings, an action which is considered equivalent to recruitment. Additionally some of the agencies that were “recruiting” seafarers at Luneta were found not to have authority to recruit or deploy Filipino workers overseas. As a result of the above POEA filed appropriate charges against 19 manning agencies.

Finally POEA’s administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac urged seafarers to file their applications directly with licensed manning agencies in their registered office address which can be found in the POEA website instead of going to Luneta to find seafaring jobs.

Sources: INTERMANAGER, POEA

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