BACOLOD CITY, Nov 21 (PNA) — Personnel of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) here rescued 20 male Negrenses from apparent illegal recruitment on their way to Batangas Thursday night.
The men, residents of Cadiz City and Manapla town, were intercepted at Dumangas Port in Iloilo Province with middleman Rowie Logatiman, 28, of Barangay Magsaysay, Cadiz, who was identified as the recruiter.
Joining Logatiman was his 17-year old sister-in-law, who was hired to work as a baby sitter. Both of them were not also allowed to travel.
Atty. Divine Grace Gabunas, labor laws compliance officer of DOLE-Negros Occidental, said Friday the 20 Negrenses were hired to work in a sugarcane plantation in San Luis, Batangas.
Gabunas said the group did not comply with the necessary requirements like Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) certificate, authority to transport, and certificate of employment, based on the evaluation of the Dumangas Protocol, a convergence or network of agencies working against illegal recruitment, human trafficking and child labor.
“According to Logatiman, he is only working for a planter based in Batangas and he has no knowledge about the requirements needed to transport the 20 workers,” the labor officer said.
Logatiman was detained at Dumangas Municipal Police Station, but was later released after he signed a promisory statement and manifestation about the incident.
Gabunas said the incident was immediately reported to DOLE Region 6 in Iloilo City, which facilitated the transport of the 20 Negrenses, with Logatiman and his sister-in-law, back to the province.
Upon their arrival at BREDCO port in Bacolod about 9:30 a.m. Friday, they were assisted by personnel of DOLE-Negros Occidental in their transportation back to Cadiz and Manapla.
“We are still waiting for the complete profile of these workers from the regional office,” Gabunas said. “We prioritized their immediate return to their locality in order to prevent them from being victims of exploitation and trafficking.”
The investigation is under the jurisdiction of Dumangas Municipal Police Station and DOLE Region 6, she added.(PNA)