The Philippine Consulate General in Milan issued an advisory today warning Filipinos against dealing with individuals or agencies offering jobs in Italy to avoid becoming victims of fraud and illegal recruitment.
The Consulate issued the advisory shortly after the Italian Government announced that it would be admitting 452,000 foreign nationals for seasonal and nonseasonal employment in the next three years under its decreto flussi program.
“We don’t want any more kababayans to fall victim to the predatory practices of certain individuals and agencies here in Milan who can be expected to take advantage of this announcement to defraud others,” Consul General Elmer G. Cato said.
According to Consul General Cato, the Consulate
continues to receive complaints of fraud and illegal recruitment from Filipinos who had paid exorbitant fees to several individuals and agencies in Milan to secure what turned out to be nonexistent jobs under the decreto fluss program.
The Consulate first issued warnings about the cases of fraud and illegal recruitment it has been receiving in late August in its “Pag-Usapan Natin” virtual townhall meeting as well as in advisories that it issued.
Consul General Cato said the Consulate also investigated the complaints filed by the relatives and representatives of jobseekers in the Philippines not just by gathering statements from them but also by collecting evidence, looking for witnesses, and coordinating with local officials.
He said it was also the Consulate that requested the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in August to provide a lawyer to represent the complainants in the class suit that will be filed in Italy against those involved.
Based on the Consulate’s investigation, there are at least 223 individuals as of today who may have been defrauded of as much as P40 million.
Consul General Cato urged other complainants who still have not come forward to contact the Consulate at +393896835076 or email@example.com.
Consul General Cato, at the same time, welcomed the calls of Sen. Raffy Tulfo and Sen. Risa Hontiveros for a Senate investigation on the reported fraud and illegal recruitment cases that he said also involve several other individuals and agencies.