By Leslie Ann Aquino, Manila Bulletin, Aug 10, 2018
The Department of Labor and Employment on Friday has warned the public against the modus of withdrawing escrow deposits of recruitment agencies using falsified “certificate of no pending appealed case”.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III issued the warning after the department separately received letters from at least two overseas recruitment agencies inquiring about the authenticity of a certification allegedly issued by DOLE Legal Service and was purportedly used to withdraw an escrow deposit.
In a statement, DOLE said a thorough investigation revealed that the said certification was found to be “bogus” and was never issued by their Legal Service and that the supposed signatory of the document is no longer connected with the labor department.
“We are informing the public that a falsified ‘Certification of No Pending Appealed POEA case’ allegedly issued by the DOLE Legal Service has been circulating and is being used by unknown individuals in withdrawing escrow deposits of certain recruitment agencies,” Bello said.
“We advise the public to be more prudent and cautious in dealing with persons or entities involved in this reported fraudulent activity,” he added.
The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) mandates that a recruitment agency shall set-up an escrow account to cover possible future liabilities arising from claims of overseas contract workers due to employment contract violations.
The release of escrow which is deposited in a POEA-accredited bank is ordered by either the POEA or the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC).
A DOLE-issued certification of “no pending POEA case on appeal” is a requirement to withdraw escrow deposits by recruitment agencies.
Bello asked the public to call 527-3000 local 610 if they had been victimized by the bogus certification or have lead to the culprits of the said fake document.