A top official of Panabo City and executives of some government agencies forged a partnership through signing memorandum of understanding (MOU) last week, November 8, to formalize a collaboration and enhance government’s capabilities in fighting illegal recruitment.

Among those who signed were Panabo City mayor Jose L. Silvosa, Sr., Atty. Jaime P. Gimenez representative of Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac, Carmelo Elaya representative of Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (Owwa) Administrator Carmelita Dimzon, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE RO XI) Regional Director Joffrey Suyao and Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) Secretary Imelda Nicolas.

Gimenez said that the MOU will serve as a stepping stone towards a more efficient and systematic cooperation between the local government unit (LGU) of Panabo City , Owwa, Dole RO XI, POEA and CFO in fighting illegal recruitment, including syndicates who use internet and other modus operandi in victimizing prospective job applicants.

“Illegal recruitment remains a serious and persistent problem in the country and to effectively counter this problem, cooperation and coordination among government agencies tasked to run after syndicates engaged in these illegal activities,” Gimenez added.

MOU provides that the POEA shall furnish the LGU Panabo through its Public Employment Service Office (Peso) with regularly updated list of licensed agencies and entities, and provide information materials on the campaign against illegal recruitment such as brochures, pamphlets, posters as well as copies of recent anti-illegal recruitment laws and regulation for distribution in their respective constituents.

The City Government of Panabo, for its part, shall investigate any reported illegal recruitment activity and recommend to the POEA issuance of closure order against any licensed recruitment entity established to be engaged in recruitment violation.

After the signing, a seminar was conducted regarding programs and services of Dole, Owwa and CFO, Modus Operandi of Illegal Recruiters and Law on Anti-Trafficking in Persons (RA 9208). This was participated by the different government agencies, barangay officials and some overseas workers.

(Mark Anthony Gellor and Ewin Cubio/CIO)