Kuala Lumpur – Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday commended the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Malaysia for having been the first of 36 POLOs that have come up with a short-list of nominees for the DOLE’s International Employers’ Awards.
Baldoz, who came to Malaysia on a two-day visit as part of her inspection and observation tour of POLOs in the ASEAN, witnessed the recognition by the POLO and the Philippine Embassy in Malaysia of 13 nominated Malaysian employers of OFWs during a breakfast meeting held at the Royal Chulan in the Malaysian capital.
Members of the Association of Malaysian Agencies and the representatives of nine of the 13 Malaysian employer-nominees attended the meeting, highlighted by the distribution by Philippine Ambassador to Malaysia J. Eduardo Malaya and Labor Attache Elizabeth Marie Estrada of certificates of commendation to the 13 companies.
Members of Secretary Baldoz’s delegation, namely, Undersecretary Reydeluz Conferido; Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac of the POEA; Administrator Rebecca Calzado of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration; Director Saul de Vries of the DOLE’s International Labor Affairs Bureau; and DOLE Communications Director Nicon Fameronag, were also present at the breakfast meeting.
“I am very pleased that our POLO in Malaysia headed by Labor Attache Estrada, in cooperation with the Philippine Embassy, is the first to come out with its own list of exemplary principals and the first to publicly recognize and acknowledge them for the International Employers’ Awards,” Baldoz said in her message at the meeting.
The 13 Malaysian companies that the POLO has recommended for nomination to the Secretary’s Award, the first of two categories of the Awards – the other one being the Presidential Award—are Renesas Semiconductor KL Sdn.; Infineon Technologies (Kulim) Sdn. Bhd.; iTac MSC Outsourcing Sdn. Bhd.; Encora Technologies Sdn. Bhd.; Genting Malaysia Bhd. (Resorts World Genting); Technip Geoproduction Sdn. Bhd.; Schlumberger Business Support Hub Sdn. Bhd.; MMC Oil & Gas Sdn. Bhd.; KNM Process System Sdn. Bhd.; Boustead Heavy Industries Corp. Bhd.; Sapura Kencana HL Sdn. Bhd.; Jabil Circuit Sdn. Bhd.; and AIG Shared Services Sdn. Bhd.
Together, these companies employ a total of 1,554 OFWs in various occupational categories, such as technical operators, oproerations specialists, IT and other professionals, consultants, service workers, engineers, procurement workers, accountants, executive managers, analysts, design engineers, and technicians.
Labor Attache Estrada said the Malaysian company-nominees have been carefully chosen and their credentials vetted. According to her, the POLO included in its selection criteria such factors as the non-charging and non-collection of placement fees and the living conditions of the companies’ Filipino workers which the POLO found to be excellent.
“These companies have no pending cases in the POLO and the POEA and they have an array of support programs and services to enhance the welfare and promote the interest of their workers,” she said.
Secretary Baldoz said the awarding of recognition certificates to the 13 Malaysian companies was part of the DOLE’s incentives and rewards system for compliant principals and employers which she started when she was still POEA administrator – a post she held for eight years.
“We have already recognized good employers of OFWs twice, the first in 2002 and the second in 2005, and we are reviving the International Employers’ Awards to give due and proper recognition to employers of OFWs who have demonstrated preference and active/continued hiring of OFWs; complied to laws, rules, and regulations (no pending and adverse case based on POEA, NLRC, OWWA, and POLO data); excellent terms and conditions of employment; and have provided OFWs with welfare services and CSR programs,” she said.
“For the Presidential Award, we would look to consider extra-ordinary acts of assistance to OFWs, in addition to the achievement of the criteria for the Secretary’s Award and also the non-charging or non-collection of placement fee from the workers either by the principal or by its recruitment agency even if there is no prohibition for such in the host country,” she added.
A package of incentives awaits recipients of the DOLE Secretary’s Award and the Presidential Award, consisting of the following: (a) automatic renewal of registration/accreditation of principals; (b) six-year validity of registration/accreditation for Secretary’s Award winners and seven years for Presidential awardees, instead of four years, unless cancelled in accordance with the POEA Rules and Regulations; (c) open job order system for the principals; (d) priority documentary processing for newly-hired and returning workers; and (e) priority processing of the enrolment of vessels of principals, in the case of sea-based overseas employment.
The POEA may also waive the Special Recruitment Authority (SRA) for the agency of principals recruiting workers outside of the DOLE, POEA, or PESO offices, provided the POEA is informed in writing prior to the conduct of the special recruitment activity. It may also prioritize the issuance of Letters of Acknowledgment to representatives of the principals who come to the Philippines to conduct interview and/or selection of workers; offer agencies of awardees the privilege to access the POEA manpower registry; and provide assistance in sourcing manpower for the principals.
“We will also post in the POEA website the profile of all awardees and link to it the website of the principal,” she said.