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POEA: Recruitment of Seafarers in Luneta is Illegal

Jul 26, 2012

 The Rizal Park area that is near the National Library in Manila is a popular place for seafarers who are looking for work because this has become a one-stop recruitment center for them. One of the reasons is the proximity of the place to manning agencies around the Kalaw area. Manning agencies have set up booths there and they conduct recruitment activities. The booths are managed by the Luneta Seafarers’ Welfare Foundation, Inc.


However on May 2009, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) under the management of former POEA chief, Jennifer Jardin-Manalili announced that all recruitment activities of land-based and sea-based agencies in the area are deemed illegal. The government agency issued the law because of reports of unfair hiring practices in the area. Likewise the POEA has not issued any Special Recruitment Authority (SRA) to manning agencies conducting recruitment activities in the said area since May 2009. Administrative sanction awaits those who will disobey this law.


The SRA is the permit given to licensed recruitment agencies so they can still conduct legal recruitment outside heir registered offices. The POEA also requires the manning agencies to submit sworn statements of their activities, and remove their posters and job advertisements in the area.


Just recently, new POEA Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac reminded the public about this policy through an advisory in their official website.


Cacdac said that under the Rules and Regulations Governing the Recruitment and

Employment of Land-based Overseas Workers, a licensed recruitment or manning agency cannot engage in recruitment activities in places other than that specified in the license without previous authorization from the POEA.


He said, “Because of reported hiring malpractices, the POEA stopped in May 2009 the issuance of SRA to manning agencies, and  ordered those occupying booths managed by Luneta Seafarers’ Welfare Foundation, Inc. (LUSWELF) at RizalPark to end their recruitment activities or face administrative sanctions.”


The POEA reported that 12 manning agencies had lost their license and were made to pay appropriate fines for doing recruitment activities seafarers in Luneta without the SRA.


Instead of a recruitment center, The Associated Marine Officers and Seaman’s Union of the Philippines (AMOSUP) hopes to convert it into a seafarers center – a place where seamen from provinces can stay while looking for a job or their taking care of their employment documents in Manila. 

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