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By Bernadette H. Carreon

KOROR (Palau Horizon, Mar. 16) — Biweekly flights from the Philippines to Palau have been placed on a watch list by authorities in Manila in an attempt to stop the deployment of undocumented Filipino workers to Palau.

According to a statement from the Office of the Presidential Illegal Recruitment Task Force in the Philippines dated March 7, the task force intends to work closely with Palauan authorities to stop illegal recruitment and other violations of labor laws.

The statement said that "employers desiring to employ Philippine workers are required to have these documents authenticated in the Philippine Embassy in Koror in order to certify that the Philippine agency is legal and good standing with the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency."

The statement added that illegal recruitment is a criminal act and the recruitment of three or more workers is classified as a major crime in the Philippines.

Last March 5, seven undocumented Filipino workers bound for Palau were prevented from leaving the Philippines.

The Philippine task force said the workers are Rickson Bullecer, Eddie I. Villanueva, Lourdes R. Baldomero, Neri Rose P. Maglacas, Nelsy D. Canada, Rency De Guzman and Hector Bonifacio Tiam.

The task force said the workers claimed that their trip was arranged and paid for by relatives and friends who went to Palau as "tourists" but are now working here.

Philippine Ambassador to Palau Leoncio Parungao said they are in constant communication with the task force.

"We warn our countrymen not to fall victims to this illegal recruitment," Parungao said.

He added that they would continue sending reports to the Philippines regarding illegal recruitment of Filipino workers.

March 16, 2005

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