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I-verify muna! DOLE warns overseas jobseekers vs fake POEA certifications

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Filipinos looking for work abroad should be wary of a new scam using fake “certificates of no pending appealed case” from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration.

The Department of Labor and Employment said the modus involves withdrawing escrow deposits of recruitment agencies using the fake certificates.

“We are informing the public that a falsified ‘Certification of No Pending Appealed POEA case’ allegedly issued by the Department of Labor and Employment Legal Service has been circulating and is being used by unknown individuals in withdrawing escrow deposits of certain recruitment agencies. We advise the public to be more prudent and cautious in dealing with persons or entities involved in this reported fraudulent activity,” DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III said.

He urged the public to call 527-3000 local 610 if they had been victimized by the fake certification, or if they have leads to the culprits of the said fake document.

The DOLE said it separately received letters from at least two overseas recruitment agencies inquiring about the authenticity of a certification allegedly issued by DOLE Legal Service.

Quoting the recruitment agencies, it said the supposed certification was purportedly used to withdraw an escrow deposit.

But a check showed the certification was fake and was never issued by DOLE Legal Service, with the supposed signatory no longer connected with the DOLE.

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration mandates that a recruitment agency shall set up an escrow account to cover possible future liabilities involving employment contract violations.

Release of escrow, which is deposited in a POEA-accredited bank, is ordered by either the POEA or the National Labor Relations Commission.

“A DOLE-issued certification of ‘no pending POEA case on appeal’ is a requirement to withdraw escrow deposits by recruitment agencies,” the DOLE said.