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Group of Manning Agencies Accused of Illegal Hiring Appeals to POEA
To clarify the issues connected with the reports of 19 agencies that have been charged with illegal recruitment cases for conducting hiring activities along T.M. Kalaw Street in Luneta, a group of over 50 manning agencies are seeking a dialogue with the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) Head, Hans Leo Cacdac Jr.
The concerned manning agencies sent a request letter to Cacdac, in the hope that the proposed dialogue would result to full enlightenment on the issue.
The POEA has released several warnings to agencies and applicants that recruitment of seaman in Luneta area is illegal. The POEA suspended the issuance of Special Recruitment Authority (SRA) for manning agencies in Luneta area in 2009 and 2010.
The report of the recruitment agencies that are supposedly engaged in illegal hiring in Luneta appeared in the official website of POEA.
The advisory said, “POEA has filed appropriate charges against 19 manning agencies found conducting illegal recruitment activities at Luneta Seafarers’ Center in Ermita, Manila.”
According to that report, Cacdac, ordered the POEA’s Operations and Surveillance Division to coordinate with agents of the Anti-Transnational Crime Division of PNP-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG). The POEA and PNP team conduct surveillance where some of their members posed as applicants and inquired about available seafarer jobs from some of the manning agencies present at T.M. Kalaw.
The statements said, “The POEA-PNP team reported that agency representatives handed them company brochures, calling cards, and flyers listing their respective job openings. The report identified the manning agencies discovered recruiting seafarers at Luneta Seafarer’s Center.”
Some of the manning agencies that were charged are said to be reputable companies that have been in the business for years. Some of them are even recipients of POEA excellence awards in the sea-based sector.
The concerned crewing companies are listed below:
1. Korpil Shipmanagement and Manning Corporation
2. Seaboard Maritime
3. Wallem Maritime Services, Inc.
4. Avantgarde Shipping Corporation
5. Univan Management Services Phils., Inc.
6. Century Maritime Agencies, Inc.
7. Solpia Marine and Ship Management, Inc.
8. Great Swiss Maritime Services, Inc.
9. Intercrew Philippines Agency, Inc.
10. Epsilon Maritime Services, Inc.
11. C-Man Maritime, Inc.
12. Trans-Global Maritime Agency, Inc.
14. International Ship Crew Management Phils., Inc.
15. Michaelmar Phils., Inc.
16. Hanjin Shipping
17. Evic Human Resource Management, Inc.
18. Morning Mist Maritime Services
19. Seafarers Shipping, Inc.
Some of the agencies that were charged were surprised to be included in the list. They also clarified that they totally support the efforts of POEA to run after illegal recruiters.
The request letter said, “We will be the first ones to report it to POEA should we come across such kind of operations in the manning industry to protect the interest of the Filipino seafarers and the industry we belong.”
Nevertheless, it continued: “There seems to be a thin line as to whether promotion of job opportunities to Filipino seafarers normally hanging around at the Luneta Seafarers’ Center from Mondays to Fridays is illegal recruitment per se or not.”
The crewing companies, through the letter, expressed their understanding of “illegal recruitment.” The crime illegal recruitment, they said, “is the act of promising interested individuals inexistent jobs, and the intention is merely to mulct them money or take advantage of them for personal gain.”
To clarify once and for all the issue, the crewing companies are seeking an audience with Administrator Cacdac any time at his convenience to prevent any misunderstanding in the future.