Saab Magalona airs passport troubles of her son’s nanny and POEA takes notice

July 6, 2018 - 4:34 PM
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Saab Magalona aired her concerns on Twitter to help the plight of her son's nanny. (Instagram/Saab Magalona-Bacarro)

Actress-model Saab Magalona took to Twitter to help her son’s nanny recover her passport from the recruitment agency that previously hired her as an overseas Filipino worker.

On July 2, Magalona shared that the nanny does not have her passport because the agency was asking her to pay P5,000 for a medical exam.

Magalona said she called the agency and described them as “rude” during the call and “scammers” for demanding money in exchange for the passport.

Magalona related that her family has been helping her son’s nanny with a loan worth P60,000 as supposed placement fee.

“We’ve been helping her with that loan [because] wala na syang magagawa she signed a contract but now that I spoke to the agency, they are really awful people,” Magalona shared.

Her concerns were heard by Philippine Overseas Employment Administration Head Hans Leo Cacdac who responded to her posts.

Although she did not specifically name the recruitment agency, Magalona said that it was in POEA’s list of licensed companies.

“I don’t think they are aware of its practices though,” she said.

As of writing, Magalona shared that they had scheduled an appointment with POEA’s legal assistance office in Ortigas.

Passport of the government

The Philippine passport belongs to the government, as stated in Republic Act 8239 or The Philippine Passport Act of 1996.

Section 11 states that, “the holder being a mere possessor thereof as long as it is valid and the same may not be surrendered to any person or entity other than the government or its representative.”

Being a temporary owner, the law states that a Filipino citizen may only “voluntarily surrender” his or her passport to the Philippine Service Post “for storage and safekeeping for which a proper receipt shall be issued for use when reclaiming the passport at a later date.”

Also, POEA allows for a placement to be charged to an OFW but should only be equivalent to a month’s worth of the worker’s salary.

This provision excludes the following types:

  1. Domestic workers; and
  2. Workers to be deployed to countries where the prevailing system, either by law, policy or practice do not allow, directly or indirectly, the charging and collection of recruitment/placement fee

Amid such legislations, there are still OFWs, particularly household service workers, who fall victim to agencies with “shady” deals, experiences of whom were shared in Magalona’s post.