TUCP wants Labor Department to close down agencies deploying workers to Iraq

To prevent incidents of kidnapping of Filipinos in Iraq the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) today urged the Labor Department to revoke the licenses of employment agencies deftly violating the government-imposed ban on the deployment of contract workers to the warn-torn country.

The TUCP issued the statement after another Filipino was kidnapped.

TUCP said that strong measures should be taken against recruiters to prevent them from sending more Filipinos to harms way.

The TUCP said that placement agencies skirt around the ban by sending workers through countries not covered by the ban such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) or Qatar before secretly slipping them through the borders of Iraq.

TUCP cites the case of 120 Filipinos who were allowed in July to proceed to Dubai. The Labor Department later learned that they were deployed in Iraq. A local placement agency, Anglo-European Placement International, recruited the workers.

The Labor Department estimates that there are some 5,000 Filipino OFWs in the country.

TUCP observes a similarity in the case of the recent kidnap victim Robert Tarongoy who flew to Qatar only to be found working in Iraq. “It is becoming a pattern”, TUCP said.

“We believe that OFWs are slipped into Iraq with the aid of placement agencies. The Government, while it cannot stop workers from making their own decisions to go into war-torn Iraq, can do better by clamping down on irresponsible recruitment agencies”, TUCP said.

TUCP particularly called on the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and the Presidential Task Force on Illegal Recruitment to monitor the activities of placement agencies, especially those with records of deploying workers in the Middle East.

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