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.
Pancho’s yaya was a former OFW and today I asked her if she had a valid passport. She told me that her old agency was holding it and won’t release it unless she pays 5k for her medical exam. Called them to inquire and omg they were so rude!!! “Wag mo akong ine-english” levels!!?
— Saab (@saabmagalona) July 3, 2018
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.
Kindly PM me po for details re name of recruiter etc.
— hans leo j. cacdac (@HansLeoCacdac) July 3, 2018
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:
- Domestic workers; and
- 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.
Maybe report them sa DOLE? Grabe ‘yang mga yan. Sa SG, ang laki din ng kaltas sa mga OFW when they get employed. Holding their passports is their way of owning them ? Yung ibang agencies naman, nanloloko pa. Kukunin lang pera nila.
— Cia Hermosa-Jorge (@bandcalledwagon) July 3, 2018
Ingat ka lang din po kasi baka ikaw rin na malaman nilang “may kaya” i take advantage ka. Ask around…Pero nakauwi sya pero yung passport nya naka hold pa rin sa agency? And usually ang placement fee po is equivalent lang to salary.
— BlacknYellow (@mimiyong1497) July 3, 2018