OFWs from Taiwan Slap Agency with Illegal Recruitment, Overcharging Raps

Six of the 59 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who have complained of massive illegal recruitment of migrant workers to Taiwan are back in the country to continue their fight.

Vol. VII, No. 21, July 1-7, 2007

Six of the 59 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who have complained of massive illegal recruitment of migrant workers to Taiwan are back in the country to continue their fight.

The six who were able to shoulder their airfare back to the Philippines asked Migrante International for assistance. They had with them all the copies of the 59 affidavits submitted to the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) in Taiwan.

Sweet talk while charging exorbitant fees

“Kung gusto n’yong makaaahon sa buhay at matupad ang inyong pangarap, magtiwala kayo sa amin” (If you want to rise from poverty and realize your dreams, trust us). This was allegedly the statement frequently uttered by Adelyn Magsino, manager of Mission Way Manpower Services Inc., in trying to get the trust of those applying for work abroad and to encourage them to produce the P140,000 ($3,021.80 based on an exchange rate of $1:P46.33 as of June 29) she charges as placement fee (PF).

Overwhelmed by the sweet promises of the agency, the aspiring migrant workers did everything to pay the overpriced PF.

In late 2005 and early 2006, applicants of Mission Way were promised rewarding jobs at Quanta Display, Inc. in Taiwan.

But they had to pay every step of the way. Just for filling up the application form, they had to pay the cashier P20 ($0.43). The PF is P140, 000 plus a surety bond of P2,800 ($60.44). “Take it or leave it,” Magsino told them during their first briefing. That made them rush to search for ways of raising the money by all means.

Their examinations and interviews were held in a room at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Manila. This made the applicants trust the agency more, thinking that an agency which can afford to rent a room in an expensive hotel would never run away with their money.

The POEA website listed Mission Way as an agency in good standing and with a license valid until March 2008. Mission Way was number 18 in the POEA’s top 20 Agency Performance Awardees for land-based deployment in 2005.

Exam passers were referred by Magsino for medical check up that amounted to P3, 500 ($75.54). After the medical tests, they were allowed to sign contracts even if they have not yet fully paid the PF. Those who could not afford the PF were referred to Global Lending Inc. But they were also reminded that all fees should be fully paid before their departure.

Then, after attending other briefings with the agency, the applicants took the Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) under the Philippine Association of Services Exporters Inc. (PASEI).


The applicants already noticed irregularities while undergoing the pre-departure processes but they trusted Magsino. Those paying their fees on installment were not issued official receipts. In stead, they said, their payments were listed in a blue record book and a brown envelope containing their respective documents.

They were told that they would be issued a receipt upon full payment of the placement fee. Others were merely given a telephone number they could call to keep track of their payments.

But after paying their placement fee and surety bond in full, they were issued receipts in the amount of P25, 344 ($547.03) only instead of the P142,800 ($3,082.24) they were made to pay. “Ito lang daw kasi ang placement fee na ipinapatupad ng POEA,” (The POEA set this amount as standard placement fee) the workers wrote in their affidavits.

Magsino allegedly promised them that they could easily recoup their expenses including the fees they paid in less than six months because they would be working in a good company which would allow them to work overtime with pay.

A different reality

On their first day in Taiwan, when they were briefed by the company that would employ them regarding their contract, jobs, working conditions and salaries, they were surprised that it was very much different from what was promised by Magsino.

Mely Tee, who is with the Migrant Rights and Welfare Program of Migrante International, said that Joseph Ballesteros, one of the six complainants who returned to the Philippines, told her that for living quarters, 20 workers were packed in what appeared to be a “container van.”

The OFW complainants filed their affidavits before MECO Administering Officer Carlo Aquino on June 5. Original copies of the affidavits were sent to Migrante International’s office in Quezon City on June 15.

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