Governor Aris Aumentado recently signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on the Convergence of the LGUs’ campaign against Illegal Recruitment together with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Anti-Illegal Recruitment/Trafficking in Persons (AIR/TIP), and local chief executives (LCEs) of the different municipalities of Bohol.

Governor Aumentado recognizes that the illegal recruitment of migrant workers has always been a serious problem in the employment industry. These unscrupulous recruiters take advantage of the dream of their fellow Filipinos for better opportunities abroad and a better future for them and their families. Filipino workers are put them in harm’s way by illegal recruiters. This affects workers and their families negatively in a multitude of ways.

He was adamant that in order for these situations to stop, there must be a unified stand in eliminating illegal recruitment activities. He emphasized that the strengthening of the collective efforts must be undertaken and proactive measures and campaigns have to be in place and reach the grassroots level to become truly effective.

This MOA signing not only signaled the beginning of the partnership and collaboration between and among the Province of Bohol, the POEA, and other line agencies on the subject of anti-illegal recruitment, but also jumpstarted the seminar and Capability Enhancement Training (CET) of Public Employment Service Office (PESO) managers from all over the province on the different modus operandi used by illegal recruiters in order to entice unsuspecting Filipinos to apply for jobs overseas.

This campaign seeks to intensify the nationwide call against the illegal recruitment and trafficking of persons through sustained local action. It further supports the implementation by the local government units (LGUs) of their mandate to protect workers under the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995 (Republic Act No. 8042), as amended by RA No. 10022.

This law drives the proactive stance that LGUs should take in combatting illegal recruitment by undertaking information dissemination activities on all aspects of overseas employment and establishing local mechanisms to assist migrant workers.

As a crucial partner in fighting illegal recruitment and human trafficking, the Provincial Government and all the municipalities of Bohol have joined hands in a sustained campaign against illegal recruitment and human trafficking, to include, but not limited to, activities such as CETs for PESOs, barangay officials, representatives of non-government organizations (NGOs), the academe, and the law enforcers of anti-illegal recruitment/anti-trafficking.
The Governor stressed that although “the goal is to develop our beloved land, this must not come at the expense of the human rights of our people”. He further emphasized that Boholanos “must stand firm in the protection of lives, and fighting illegal recruitment and illegal trafficking is one way of doing so.”

Governor Aumentado sincerely hopes that this endeavor will succeed, as this will help protect the lives of OFWs.

Maria Vilma C. Yorong stated that as the province of Bohol is a “Best Partner in Anti-Illegal Recruitment (PAIR)” awardee of the POEA. This means that the provincial government of Bohol headed by Gov. Aumentado, as well as the BEPO/PESO office are trying their best to continue the fact that Bohol is an IR-free LGU. She further stated that the BEPO/PESO is very thankful to all the PESO managers, and the local chief executives of Bohol for being very supportive in this program in making Bohol an IR free LGU.

Seminar speakers discussed important issues like the Salient Provisions of Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) Law, given by Atty. Maria Bernadine H. Madamba and the Law on Illegal Recruitment by Atty. Karl Frederick Arriola. These were followed by the Introduction to Expanded Trafficking in Persons Act of 2022 by Atty. Geraldine C. Mendez. Lastly, Atty. Kristine Marie Joy B. Andal explained to the participants the different Modus Operandi of Illegal Recruiters, POEA’s Legal Remedies and Services for Migrant Workers, and the maxim of APAT-DAPAT in relation to proper job employment and placement.