NGO bares online scheme collecting $10 per OFW

Date Posted: 01/8/2018

Department of Health (DOH)-accredited clinics and recruitment agencies were warned against an online medical registration scheme that imposes a $10-fee online registration fee for every Middle East-bound OFW applicant.

Susan Ople, head of the Blas F. Ople Policy Center, said in a statement that no one in the Philippines was consulted of the multi-million scheme supposedly perpetrated by scammers.

“This online registration scheme has all the makings of a scam and is being perpetrated by foreigners allegedly representing Gulf countries,” Ople said.

The website allegedly set up by the Gulf Cooperation Council Ministry of Health claims that the program was launched to provide Pre-Employment Medical Examination (PEME) in their home countries.

It was allegedly imposed with permission from the DOH, which refuted this claim in Department Circular No. 0371.

“Since the said online registration system charges additional fee to the OFW applicants and can be restrictive to few selected DoH-accredited OFW clinics, it may be construed as another form of decking and monopoly of health examination services for Filipino migrant workers,” the circular stated.

“Thus, DOH prohibits the Medical Facilities for Overseas Workers and Seafarers (MFOWS) from participating or using the said online scheme,” it added.

Ople noted that the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration has yet to pass any governing board resolution in connection with the $10 online registration fee scheme.

She then urged the Department of Foreign Affairs and Department of Labor and Employment to consult with Gulf countries on whether they authorized the GCC Ministry of Health to collect money on their behalf.

“We are counting on the government to put a stop to all these nefarious online registration schemes aimed at earning money from our OFWs,” Ople said.

“It violates our laws and also creates grave security problems considering the data being harvested and the huge amounts of money being collected.” —Rie Takumi/KBK, GMA News

Published Date: January 10, 2018
Source: GMA News Online