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Polo keeps agency suspended despite applicant’s backdown on $46k complaint

13 August 2019

Image may contain: 1 person, sitting
Villafuerte was disappointed by the complaint's withdrawal 

By Vir B. Lumicao

A Filipina helper who accused a Hong Kong employment agency of failing to place her for a job in Canada despite collecting $46,000 from her, has withdrawn her complaint against the recruiter.

But this did not stop the Philippine Overseas Labor Office from enforcing a month-long suspension on accredited agency, Excellent Employment Service & Trading.

According to Polo Officer-in-charge Antonio Villafuerte, the suspension which was put in place from Jul 21, was for the agency’s role in the third-country recruitment.
He said Philippine labor laws specifically prohibit the practice, and all accredited agencies are bound by this regulation.

Villafuerte said he met with the agency owners last week and they denied recruiting the Filipina complainant for the job in Canada.
The agency owners reportedly claimed they were just asked by the Filipina’s sister, who is already in Canada, to advise the domestic helper on her documentation. But another individual in Canada was the one who allegedly collected the $46,000 placement fee from the jobseeker.

On Aug 11, the complainant herself went to Villafuerte and told him she was withdrawing her complaint against Excellent.
The labor chief said he was surprised by her withdrawal and told her she could not just go to Polo to seek help and then turn her back suddenly, leaving them in an awkward position.

The woman was told to write a statement saying she was withdrawing the complaint, and why.

Villafuerte was clearly disappointed with the complainant’s turnaround. “Maski sa statement niya, iba ang sinasabi niya ngayon sa sinabi niya noon,” he said.

The worker sought Villafuerte’s help when the prospective job fell through because the employer had neglected to file the work contract within the designated period allegedly because he was traveling abroad.
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