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Labour Dept acts on complaints vs. Emry’s

11 July 2016

Labour Department officers have begun contacting Filipina domestic workers who have filed complaints against Emry’s Employment Agency for charging them up to $15,000 for non-existent jobs in Britain and Canada.
Four of the complainants, who went to the Philippine Overseas Labor Office on July 10, told Labor Attache Jalilo de la Torre that they had been told to report to the Labour Department office in Mongkok for interview regarding the case.
The four said they were concerned because the dates indicated fall on a weekday while their day off was Sunday
The labor attaché advised them to take leave from work on the appointed day, but they said their employers would certainly not allow them to do so. Besides, they said they feared getting sacked once their employers learned they were applying to work in another country.
They said all they wanted was to get their money back from Emry's owner Ester Ylagan.
Labatt de la Torre told them the only way they could get their money back was to attend the investigation and act as witnesses against Emry's.
"Gusto ba ninyong mabawi ang pera ninyo? Well, ipagdasal ninyong meron sa mga kasama ninyong nag-apply ang pupunta sa Labour para tumestigo," said Labatt de la Torre.
Luckily, at least two complainants have told The SUN that they are free and willing to testify.  They said they would go to Polo to inform Labatt de la Torre of their availability. They will also try to get more complainants to agree to show up for the investigation so the case against Emry's could proceed.
Separately, the Consulate has endorsed the case to the HK Police for a possible criminal prosecution. 
Since July 1, Ylagan has allegedly become scarce and no longer responding to phone calls and text inquiries from applicants.
The SUN also tried to contact her by phone but she did not pick up, nor did she reply to a set of emailed questions sent to her on June 23, shortly after Polo suspended the processing of all work contracts from Emry's.
Polo ordered Ylagan to appear personally on July 6 to give her side in the case, but she did not show up.  As a result, Labatt de la Torre endorsed the cancellation of Emry's accreditation with the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration.
On July 10, applicants who flocked to the World-Wide Plaza office of Mike’s Secretarial Service where Ylagan processed the applicants were disappointed to see the office was closed. A notice taped on its door read: “We are close for redecoration. Office will resume on Monday.
Up to 500 Filipinos were reportedly offered jobs by Ylagan in Britain for a fee of $10,000 and in Canada, for $15,000 each. No receipts were issued, and Ylagan reportedly told the applicants 
this was because she would be taxed by the Hong Kong government for the money that she had already sent to her partner in London for the necessary clearances.
Ylagan reportedly promised an initial deployment in June, but subsequently moved this to October, ostensibly because the quota of 1,000 that was given her was yet to be filled. She reportedly asked some of her trusted recruits to entice more people to apply so the quota could be filled, and they could all fly out.
Among promises she reportedly made to sweeten the deal was that the applicants would be escorted out of Hong Kong by immigration authorities, and they would all fly out together on a chartered plane.


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