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Mistake messes up Canadian dream

25 July 2016

If you plan to go to Canada from Hong Kong, don’t ever make the mistake of stopping over in Manila because chances are, you won’t be able to catch that flight to your dream job.
This was the bitter lesson learned by one former domestic helper here who managed to land a job as a caregiver in Canada, but was stopped from leaving Manila because she did not – or could not – get an overseas employment certificate.
All OFWs leaving the Philippines must go through the POEA
According to assistant labor attaché Henry Tianero, the unidentified OFW went to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration on July 11 to apply for an OEC so she could board her flight to Canada the following day, but was rejected.
When the worker presented her passport, which already bore a Canadian visa, and her employment contract, she was told that the POEA could not issue her an OEC because her contract was not verified by the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Hong Kong.
“We could not issue her an OEC because of her unverified contract,” said Assistant Labor Attache Henry Tianero.
Without the OEC, Philippine immigration authorities would not let her fly out, either, as it was clear from her Canadian visa that she was leaving for a job abroad.
“The OFW left in a huff while some information was being extracted from her, and did not appear again. Sayang, and to think that she must have spent about $20,000 for that job,” Tianero said.
He said he had no further information about her the woman, who had terminated her contract with her Hong Kong employer to grab the job in Canada.
In cases such as this, Tianero said the job order requested by the principal or the employer would have to be verified by POLO first, which has jurisdiction over the worksite.
“This is similar to third-country recruitment. We advise placement agencies not to facilitate cases (like these) that are similar to the Emry’s situation,” Tianero said, referring to the apparently spurious job hiring for Britain and Canada by Emry’s Service Staff Employment Agency.
“Going through the process of unverified contract involves a very high degree of risk,” he warned.
However, this is a risk that many Filipinas who dream of getting to greener pastures in Canada or other countries abroad are willing to take. After all, many others before them have managed to make the plunge without a hitch.
But to make sure they get to their intended destination, they should never make the mistake of doing either of two things: stopping by the Philippines to say a final goodbye to family members, or falling for a recruitment scam.
Either of these could only lead to a shattering of their dreams. – Vir B. Lumicao

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