By Gavin Gibbon
Finest Asia Resources Inc. fined almost $2,000 and subsequent appeal thrown out
A recruitment agency in the Philippines, fined for misrepresenting the employment position of a worker sent to Saudi Arabia, has had its fine upheld by the country’s Court of Appeals.
Finest Asia Resources Inc. was fined almost $2,000 (PHP100,000) for violating the 2002 Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) regulations surrounding the recruitment of land-based overseas workers upon the complaint of OFW Rosana Barqueros whose employment was processed by the agency.
Barqueros claimed that under the standard employment contract approved by the POEA, she was to work for two years as a translator assigned at Global Al-Mashfa Est. in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia with a monthly salary of 3,500 Saudi riyal (around PHP47,000).
When she arrived in the country, Barqueros started her employment with Al-Mashfa Hospital as secretary. Although her work was mainly clerical, she received the same salary as in her contract.
Her payslip indicated that her position was a nursing secretary. After working for one-and-a-half years, she returned to the Philippines and filed a complaint.
The Court of Appeals noted while Barqueros' employment contract, pre-departure orientation seminar certificate and overseas employment contract categorically state that her position was that of a translator, her payslip and OFW information sheet indicate that she worked in Saudi Arabia as a secretary.
"The discrepancy substantially established that her application for employment was processed for a position different from that which she actually performed upon deployment," the court said, adding that this is "tantamount to misrepresentation" on the part of the recruitment agency.