Women being offered domestic work in Saudi Arabia go to the labor department when they find Imad Housin Hamdan’s promises too good to be true
by Aika Rey, Rappler, Feb 6, 2018
MANILA, Philippines – A Jordanian national was arrested in an entrapment operation for illegal recruitment, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) announced on Tuesday, February 6.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said that the suspect, Imad Housin Hamdan, 42, promised women domestic work in Saudi Arabia, where they supposedly could earn as much as $400 (P20,000) per month.
In a press briefing on Tuesday, 3 women – Jenypher Alcoran, Sarah Jean Fabros, and Gracel Sarao – said they were recruited on December 26, 2017. (READ: Things to know about illegal recruitment in the Philippines)
According to Alcoran, Hamdan represented Sphinx Group Manpower Provider Incorporated and did not ask for placement fees. They were only asked to submit their passports and undergo a medical examination, which was also free of charge.
Thinking that the offer is too good to be true, the women went to DOLE in Dumaguete to report the recruiter. Hamdan was arrested in an entrapment operation led by the National Bureau of Investigation on January 24 in Bagacay village in Dumaguete.
Lucy Sermonia, Coalition of Licensed Agencies for Domestic and Service Workers (CLADS) president, said Hamdan’s passport has expired and she is staying in the country illegally. She added that the agency is also suspended.
Sermonia added that Sphinx Group Manpower Provider Incorporated operates not only in Dumaguete but also nationwide. (READ: ‘Slow’ gov’t process makes OFWs fall for illegal recruiters)
Meanwhile, Bello warned Filipinos against easily believing individuals and agencies recruiting for overseas work.
“It’s an appeal to the public: before talking to any alleged agency, clear it first with the POEA (Philippine Overseas Employment Administration) and know whether the agency you are talking to is a legitimate agency and if they have any existing license because it might suspended or cancelled,” Bello said in Filipino.
Bello also urged victims of illegal recruitment to report their recruiters and pursue the cases.
“At the end of the day, illegal recruiters get away because the complainants disappear, especially in largescale illegal recruitment – which is an unbailable offense – that’s why they need to stand by the case,” he said.
Deployment of household service workers (HSW) continues after it saw a steep rise of 70% in 2016. Some 194,973 domestic workers were deployed in 2015 while 275,073 flew out in 2016.
The Middle East remains to have the strongest demand for HSWs, with Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Qatar topping the list of destinations.
Under the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995, illegal recruitment activities shall suffer imprisonment of at least 6 years and one day but not more than 12 years and a fine of not less than P200,000 nor more than P500,000. – Rappler.com