Department of Labor and Employment Secretary (DOLE) Silvestre Bello III on Monday reiterated warning Filipinos against applying as mushroom pickers in Canada, saying they should protect themselves from illegal recruiters promising them fast processing of their applications in exchange for a fee.
In an interview with DZRH, Bello said that while Canadian employers could be looking for overseas recruits for them to work in mushroom farms, there is yet no job order for the said positions.
“(W)ala pang job order ‘yan. Nagpalabas na ng advisory ang POEA...kaya huwag sumakay d’yan sa mga illegal recruiters,” the DOLE chief said.
Earlier, the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency said a job order is needed so that Canadian employers could hire Filipino mushroom pickers through a legitimate recruitment agency in the Philippines.
The POEA prohibits the direct hiring of Filipino mushroom pickers as they are considered as low-skilled workers and could be vulnerable to labor abuse.
“Dahil vulnerable employees ito, kailangan ng assistance ng POEA to assure na ‘yong level of protection nila habang nandiyan sa job site ay assured. Ito ‘yong employment provisions will be guaranteed na mako-comply, may mandatory insurance sila, ‘yong mga repatriation ay may sasagot and they can only do this through an agency-hired system,” POEA Administrator Bernard Olalia said recently.
In an April 10, 2018 advisory, Philippine ambassador to Canada Petronila P. Garcia “strongly” urged Filipinos “to exercise caution in believing reports of ways to work abroad that bypass the Philippine government’s standard procedures for the deployment of Filipino workers overseas.”
Garcia said Filipinos “who intend to work abroad should inquire from the POEA or the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in their respective areas to determine legitimate job opportunities available for Filipinos abroad and ensure that their rights and welfare are protected.”