Recall of HK labor attaché part of due process: DOLE chief

MANILA — Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III explained that the recall of Hong Kong Labor Attache Jalilo dela Torre is part of the due process as they are investigating the complaint against the latter.

In an interview, he noted that the decision is not a penalty, as the probe is currently being conducted.

“I was the one who ordered the recall of (Labor Attache) dela Torre. There was a complaint against him so we had it investigated. In fact our Director in Region 11 and our Deputy Administrator in Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) went to Hong Kong to investigate,” Bello said at the sidelines of the DOLE’s Trabaho, Negosyo, Kabuhayan (TNK) job and business fair held at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City on Monday.

“After investigation, they came out with their findings and recommendation and their recommendation is for me to recall him so that he can explain and answer the charges against him. That’s not a penalty. Part of the due process,” Bello added.

The DOLE chief did not elaborate on the complaint, but it is more about favoritism in accreditation.

Meanwhile, several overseas Filipino workers’ (OFWs) groups have appealed to the DOLE to withdraw the recall order.

Blas F. Ople Policy Center’s Susan Ople scored the Labor department for not according due process to the Hong Kong-based senior Labor Attache.

“Our workers in Hong Kong who believe very much in the integrity and dedication of Labor Attache dela Torre are extremely angry and demoralized. Civil society groups in Hong Kong, Manila and even in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are questioning this order given the unblemished record of service of labor attache Dela Torre,” said the former Labor undersecretary in a statement.

The group added that it was Dela Torre who lobbied for a ban on dangerous window cleaning by migrant workers by including it in the job contracts of Filipino domestic helpers.

The other groups that are also supporting Ople’s call are Kabalikat ng Migranteng Pilipino, Inc (KAMPI), Philippine Association of Service Exporters, Inc. (PASEI), Saudi-based OFW Council of Leaders (OCL), LBS e-Recruitment Solutions, KAKAMMPI.