please post or contact above to start the campaign to stop the abusive behavior of these POEA officers.
Open Letter sent to the Head of POEA.
Atty. Jennifer Jardin-Manalili
Philippine Overseas Employment Administration
Dear Atty. Jennifer,
I would like to inquire on how to file a formal complaint for the two of your staff namely Violeta Bersamen and Generosa Pingol.
Last June I took emergency leave and went back to Philippines because my grandfather is sick and family need my support. When my leave about to expire I return back
to Manila 3 days before my flight back to Sydney to process my OEC and other activities.
Iím on 457 visa (employer sponsored working visa) issued in Australia. My visa restriction is I can only work in the company who sponsored me.
Day 1. I queued up long hours to get my papers processed. I went to the counter and ask what is required. Lady in the counter ask for the copy of the contract. I ask
do you accept scanned copy? She said yes and provided and email address. Went home and contacted my employer to scan my original contract and send it to me.
Day2. I queued again for long hours and finally got to counter. I informed the same lady that I sent the contract to the email as per requested. Lady told me that
they canít open the email because the officer who has an access is on leave fair enough. I ask if there are other option she said go inside and ask the officers. I
waited there like the others waiting for their turn. There are two officers sitting those two I mentioned above.
One is chatting over the phone about their vacation preparation then move the topic about her daughter working in a call centre in front of us waiting to be serve. I
donít know how this even possible and this is during peak time. The other person is pretending to review the document presented to her by another overseas worker but
taking her ages because like what I said pretending that sheís working and doesnít care even if thereís so many people waiting. I stand up and ask about my case after
the other left and she said just sit there and Iíll call you when Iím free. What? Call you when Iím free? Hey there are people there waiting for hours didn't took any lunch just not to miss the number or just want their business to be finish and that's how they treat us.I could understand if I can see that she has any consideration for us but she shows that she doesn't care at all even if we come back and forth million times.
Finally I got the chance to talk to one of them the one chatting in the phone. I said I emailed my contract already as per required and I have my passport with me stamped with my visa. She said we can't open the mail because we don't know the password and she said fax it to us. I said no problem I can print it for you. Went to Robinsons Galleria and print the mail and the attachments. They said we want a fax. How did that differs to the printout I made where in fact there's already a mail sent with scanned copy from my employer which was forwarded to them.Eventually, they ask for a copy of my employment letter. First day I ask what's required this was not brought up.I mentioned to the officers that tomorrow is my flight and I badly need the clearance.
Day3. (DAY OF MY FLIGHT) I called our Regional Manager in Australia to Fax to POEA an employment letter and went to POEA. At around 9:00am I'm already at POEA office.This time I go straight to the officers office. Now that I have the Contract and Employment Letter they ask for my company ID. We don't have one because I'm working in IT company where we have security tags instead of ID and it doesnt have anything written on it. I said I have a business card they didn't accept it. Also, the officer is asking me are you sure you're still working for this company?
Maybe she doesn't know what sub-class 457 visa is. Wherein upon termination of employment the employer need to report and request for cancellation of visa for their sponsored employee if not they will get a penalty from immigration. Plus the fact that this visa is issued in Australia they are more strict in terms of border protection. Anyway I ask them now that you have these documents what else do you need. The officer ask me to talk to other lady. So I ask the other officer she said I can't give you clearance because we want to see the original contract. I dont have a hard copy of the original because this was submitted to the immigration when my employer applied for my visa. These two officers doesn't give you advice what to do and doesn't care if you miss your flight or worse lost your job. Why can't just tell us what's needed and what are our options to get the clearance.
When I left the Sydney I was at the middle of critical project and if I cant get back on time, our client might sue my company effectively losing my job. I was sitting there till 12pm waiting patiently if they change their decision but NO they dont care at all. I finally saw another guy in the corner and ask the lady if he is another staff that can help she said yes. The guy turns out to be the head and he understand my situation. He then assisted me and got my clearance around 2pm. I have to rush back to Antipolo to grab my luggage to catch a 6:30pm flight. I almost didnt make it.
This is a NIGHTMARE experience for me and I'm not going back this Christmas because I want to avoid such hassle. I'm doing the right thing but people abuse their power as if they can manipulate us. Well Im not just gonna sit here and do nothing. I've found a lot of threads in the internet talking different incidents like my story and I didn't know that such abuse has been going for long.
I hope you will do the right thing and have this bad attitude get corrected if you want to clean up image of POEA among overseas workers.