Administrative sanctions Coercive, unfair or deceptive recruitment
Article 35 confers the Ministry of Labour the power to suspend or cancel the license of a private recruitment agency for the violation of any provisions in the Labour Code or any other applicable mechanisms and for the violation of any rules or regulations issued by the Ministry of Labour, the Overseas Employment Development Board.
In 2014, the Ministry cancelled 54 licenses on account of unethical recruitment practices such as misrepresentation, illegal collection of placement fees or non-issuance of appropriate receipts. This compares to a total of 64 licenses cancelled in 2013. This is a relatively small number given the prevalence of fraudulent recruitment, and the number of licensed agencies operating in the Philippines, which according to the POEA database amounted to over 1,200 agencies in August 2015
Article 35. Suspension and/or cancellation of license or authority.
The Minister of Labor shall have the power to suspend or cancel any license or authority to recruit employees for overseas employment for violation of rules and regulations issued by the Ministry of Labor, the Overseas Employment Development Board, or for violation of the provisions of this and other applicable laws, General Orders and Letters of Instructions.
Law / Philippines / Labour Code (Presidential Decree No. 442 of 1974, as amended)
The Labour Code regulates the employment of all workers, except certain excluded categories, and may be used to hold both individual and corporate employers to account for violations of labour rights. Under the Code, breaches declared to be unlawful or penal in nature, are penalised with 3 months to 3 years of imprisonment, a fine ranging from 1,000 to 10,000 pesos, or both. The Labour Code provides some rights and protections for workers, such as provisions regarding working hours, weekly rest, health and safety, minimum wages, and against wage manipulation and the witholding of wages. The Labour Code excludes domestic workers from its scope of application, and thus from the protections afforded to other workers. This major loophole was addressed through the enactment of the Domestic Workers Bill in 2013, which instituted a number of protections for domestic workers, including minimum wages, social security, leave entitlements, and protection against abuse, violence or harassment.