Legazpi City- After months of non-operation, POEA Bicol will re-open this June, with a new set of employees coming from the POEA Central Office Manila, to again serve the Bicolano OFWs. This was confirmed by DOLE-Bicol Reg. Dir. Atty. Alvin M. Villamor during a simple media forum in his office yesterday.
“Finally, good news for Bicol! The new POEA Bicol Chief already paid a courtesy call to me even with the coming of typhoon Chedeng. So we can see that he is serious in doing his job here…” Villamor said.
POEA Bicol will be composed of six (6) employees, who will hold office here in Legazpi and Naga City. The team will be headed by Sr. LEO Mr. Rex O. Marcos who is said to have come from the Anti-Illegal Recruitment (AIR) Task Force of POEA Manila. His track record in busting illegal recruitment made him the number one candidate for the vacant position here. He is a native of Nabua, Camarines Sur.
Bicol region is said to have a 5% share of OFWs in the entire country. Thus, the absence of a POEA office here would mean that the more than 50,000 Bicolano OFWs would have to go to Metro Manila just for the processing of their documents. With this hassle, some Bicolanos opt to either leave the country illegally or not to leave at all while others would result to fixers and other ‘fast but illegal’ means.
“Having a POEA office here would solve a lot of issues from illegal recruitment to fixers etc. Enough is enough. We need a POEA office here. Marcos is the best choice since our problem here is illegal recruitment” Villamor added.
The programs and services that will be available in POEA Bicol upon its resumption this June will be:
It must be noted that DOLE and OWWA Bicol assumed temporarily the workload of POEA Bicol from the time of preventive suspension of its two (2) employees. DOLE Bicol Asst. Reg. Dir. Irma S. Valiente said it is high time POEA re-opens since it is during summer months (May and June) that the workload of both DOLE and OWWA piles up due to summer programs like SPES and Computer Training Courses. POEA Bicol’s operation was temporarily stopped due to irregularities discovered sometime last year. Thus, the then POEA administrator ordered the immediate suspension of its operations involved to prevent matters from getting worst.
“I will personally supervise the operations of the POEA here to prevent any discrepancies that may arise in the future. In the meantime, let’s give our new personnel the trust, confidence and support so that they can do their best in the service of the Bicolanos.” Villamor commented. POEA Bicol’s tentative operation will be on the 1st week of June. - fin.