RP  URGED  TO  BAN  COLLECTION  OF  EMPLOYMENT  FEES  FROM  OFWs

MANILA, OCTOBER 1, 2006
(STAR) By Marianne V. Go - The Philippines should join in the global effort to ban the collection of employment fees from workers seeking work abroad, according to an international labor outsourcing firm.

David Arkless, senior vice president for corporate affairs of Manpower Inc., said the labor trend in the future will not likely move toward further offshoring, but rather in outsourcing.

Arkless pointed out more and more workers want to keep jobs and work within their own countries rather than seeking jobs or work abroad.

As such, Arkless said more and more firms will resort to outsourcing, contracting skilled or professional workers to do a specific job for a specific period of time.

Likewise, he noted that more workers are also opting for flexible work contracts that would allow them to pursue other goals instead of being tied to a regular job.

This trend, Arkless said, presents a huge opportunity for Filipino workers who are well-known for their work skills. Unfortunately, he said most migrant workers find themselves exploited and charged employment fees.

Manpower, Arkless pointed out, is currently at the forefront of a global initiative to ban the collection of employment fees.

He stressed that labor outsourcing presents a huge opportunity if done properly and ensuring the rights of contingent workforce to almost the same benefits as regular workers.

At the same time, Arkless said there should also be a move in the Philippines to legalize labor contracting which at present is illegal.

The Manpower executive noted that even though labor contracting is illegal in the Philippines, it presents a huge potential which is only being exploited by illegal recruiters and labor agencies.

The unwitting victims are Filipino workers who are asked to pay an employment fee just to be able to get a job abroad, made to pay their own air fare, further subjected to salary deductions, but sometimes donít get the jobs they originally sought and are then waylaid or forced into human trafficking.

Arkless said labor outsourcing is the wave of the future if done properly with the right regulations and practices by corporate participants.

Manpower, Inc. currently supplies outsourcing services to about 98 percent of multinationals globally in the field of call centers, back processing operations, finance, manufacturing and human resources.

Manpower Inc. is represented in the Philippines by Prime Manpower.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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