The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) warned Wednesday Filipinos seeking jobs in South America to be wary of unscrupulous individuals or companies that require a huge amount of money in exchange for high-paying salaries in the Caribbean.
The warning was issued after the Philippine Embassy in Venezuela revealed that unscrupulous companies that ask for a certain amount of money as well as a Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Skills Certification prior to the processing of job applications in Trinidad and Tobago.
“CARICOM Skills Certificate is meant for the free movement of citizens of CARICOM member-countries, namely Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat (UK), Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago, to work in the Caribbean states. It is not for Filipinos and other foreigners,” the Philippine Embassy in Venezuela said.
“The companies’ profile, company’s registration, and prospective employment contract should be examined carefully. These documents should all be notarized and authenticated by the Trinidad and Tobago Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” it said.
“It is also advisable to verify the existence of such companies with the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) or the Embassy before further transacting with them,” it added.
The Philippine Embassy in Venezuela expressed alarm following an email from a Filipino fire engineer in a Saudi Arabian company, who sought assistance on the CARICOM. The Filipino was reportedly given a job as a maintenance and fire safety engineer in Trinidad and Tobago provided that he apply for a CARICOM Skills Certificate and pay US$765 (approximately P34,425) for notarial and legal service fees for his documents.
The DFA has been warning OFWs to be vigilant against illegal recruitment agencies as well as text and e-mail scams.
Just like the internet scam, the text scams required OFWs to transmit money prior to receiving their so-called prizes supposedly to pay for taxes, remittance charges, or donations.