MANILA - Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) may now access a new web platform that allows them to share their experience about their deployment abroad and rate their recruitment agencies.
The Migrant Recruitment Advisor (MRA) lists thousands of agencies in the Philippines and other countries like Nepal, Indonesia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore.
"The Migrant Recruitment Advisor can help prospective Filipino migrant workers make [an] informed decision or choice by going through online reviews,” said Director Khalid Hassan of the International Labor Organization (ILO) Country Office for the Philippines.
Available in English and Filipino, the MRA, which officially launched in the country on Thursday, lists recruitment agencies licensed by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).
Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation, said the platform will empower workers in choosing only legitimate recruitment agencies.
“Unscrupulous recruitment agencies take advantage of the lack of law enforcement by governments or because workers are simply not aware of their rights,” Burrow said.
“It’s time to put power back into workers’ hands to rate the recruitment agencies and show whether their promises of jobs and wages are delivered," she said.
Through the online portal, recruiters who follow a fair recruitment process based on ILO General Principles and Operational Guidelines for Fair Recruitment will be promoted.
It will also provide useful feedback to governments regarding the practices of licensed recruitment agencies, which could be used to complement more traditional monitoring systems, the ILO said.
“Through the MRA, workers interested to work abroad can get more information about recruitment agencies. We believe migrant workers who have been recruited and employed abroad are the best recruitment advisors," said Jillian Roque of the Public Services Labor Independent Confederation (PSLINK) and MRA focal point in the Philippines.
The online portal was launched amid the Duterte administration's continuing campaign to protect OFWs, including forging agreements with host countries to further protect Filipino workers abroad.
"Migration should be a choice. The ILO supports countries like the Philippines in protecting the welfare of migrant workers through fair recruitment and rights-based migration," added Hassan.