Vice President Jejomar C. Binay led the closure of a recruitment agency whose license was cancelled due to collection of excessive placement fees.

Northwest Placement Inc., an intermediary for Best Western Golden Prairies Inn in Montana in the United States, was closed down in an operation conducted by the Office of the Vice President (OVP) and the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA).

“Ang operation na ito ay patunay lamang na seryoso po ang ating gobyerno sa pangangalaga sa ating mga kababayang nais magtrabaho sa ibang bansa,” Binay said.

“Maging babala sana ito sa mga nagbabalak samantalahin ang ating mga kababayang nais maging OFW,” he added.

The agency’s license was cancelled by the POEA last April 25, 2012 after it found the agency liable for violation of Section 2 (b), Rule I, Part VI of the 2002 POEA Rules and Regulations.

According to the POEA Rules and Regulations, charging or accepting directly or indirectly any amount greater than that specified in the schedule of allowable fees prescribed by law will be grounds for imposition of administrative sanctions.

Binay said an investigation conducted by the US Embassy Fraud Prevention Unit confirmed reports that the local agency has been charging illegal placement fees to H-2B US visa applicants going to work in the United States.

He added that after interviewing several H-2B Visa applicants who have been petitioned to work in the US, the US Embassy worked in close coordination with the OVP which led to the cancellation of the agency’s license.

However, the agency continued to conduct recruitment activities despite the cancellation of its license. This led to POEA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac’s issuance of a closure order against the agency.