By Jocelyn Ruiz, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau
ROME – Filipinos looking for employment in Italy are warned against illegal recruitment agencies that are reportedly using the direct hiring system to entice OFWs to apply as seasonal workers in the country.
The Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) said some agencies are charging OFWs exorbitant fees when they apply as direct hire seasonal workers.
“May reports na nakarating sa amin na may mga tao na nagha-hire sa Pilipinas at pinagbabayad ng P500,000 to P600,000 para pumupunta dito. Walang ganun dito at dini-discourage po natin at nagbigay na tayo ng advisory sa POEA (Philippine Overseas Employment Administration),” said Labor Attache Chona Mantilla.
According to POLO, the Direct Hiring 2010 in Italy is only for domestic helpers and caregivers.
Earlier news reports said the Italian government will open an entry quota on direct hiring or decreto flussi 2010 for migrant workers in Italy. This is also the chance for many Filipinos to bring their families or relatives to work in Italy.
However, the Italian government has no open quota for direct hiring for seasonal workers or decreto flussi per lavoro stagionale 2010 for Filipino migrants.
“Ang Pilipinas ay hindi kasama sa mga countries na may bilateral agreement for seasonal workers. Totoo na may 80,000 na seasonal workers na ang Italian government ngayon na binibigyan ng flussi but sad to say hindi tayo kasama doon,” said Mantilla.
POLO estimates that around 140,000 Filipinos are living in Italy, compared to the 100,924 data from the Ministero Dell Interno last July 31, 2009. This number does not include undocumented workers.
Meanwhile, data gathered by the Isituto Nazionale Di Statistica (ISTAT) or Institute on National Statistics revealed that there are 113,686 documented Filipinos living in Italy in 2008, as compared to the 105, 675 data ISTAT estimated in 2007.
The data gathered makes Filipinos the 6th largest foreign population group in Italy, behind Romania (796,477); Albania (441, 396); Morocco (403, 592); China (170,265); and Ukraine (153,998).
The seasonal worker is a short-term contract employment like farm jobs or more on agriculture, and summer job vacancies like working in hotels, restaurants and resorts.