By Marita Moaje

ILLEGAL OPERATIONS. Department of Migrant Workers officials lead closure operations against High Dreamer Travel and Tours Services in the City of Malolos, Bulacan on Friday (June 14, 2024). The travel agency without a valid license was found to be recruiting, referring applicants and collecting placement fees from individuals aspiring to work abroad. (Photo courtesy of DMW)

MANILA – A travel agency in the City of Malolos, Bulacan was padlocked on Friday by the Department of Migrant Workers for illegal recruitment, following a report from the Filipino community in Poland.

High Dreamer Travel and Tours Services in Barangay Catmon was padlocked by the combined team of DMW Licensing and Adjudication Services, Migrant Workers Protection Bureau (MWPB) and Malolos police, according to a news release.

“Napatunayan na itong ahensya na ito, itong opisina na ito, ay nag re-refer ng mga workers sa isang legitimate agency, na bawal po. Kumbaga nagsa-sub-agent sila. Kaya kakalap tayo ng iba pang mga ebidensya para masampahan sila ng kaso (It was proven that this agency, this office, refers workers to a legitimate agency, which is prohibited. It acts as sub-agent. We’ll gather more evidence so wr can charge them),” DMW Undersecretary Bernard Olalia said after the operation.

DMW Secretary Hans Leo Cacdac said the Migrant Workers Office in Prague, which has jurisdiction over Poland, received a report from the Filipino community about the travel agency’s illegal operations.

The DMW conducted an investigation and discovered that High Dreamer offered overseas jobs to unsuspecting Filipinos through Facebook.

Jobs offered were for production, agriculture, restaurants, construction and cleaners in various European countries, particularly Croatia, promising monthly salaries between PHP70,000 and PHP80,000.

It was learned that the erring agency collects PHP100,000 processing fee and PHP300,000 placement fee from each applicant.

The payment, which is non-refundable, is may be settled in three installments.

Cacdac said High Dreamer has no valid license to offer jobs overseas and is not a registered recruitment agency.

High Dreamer and its officers and staff will face charges of illegal recruitment, included in DMW’s list of persons and establishments with derogatory records, and will be banned from participating in the government’s overseas recruitment program.

The DMW encouraged applicants who fell victim to High Dreamer’s illegal activities to contact the MWPB for the filing of cases.

The MWPB may be contacted through their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/dmwairtip and through email address mwpb@dmw.gov.ph.

“Once again, the Filipino community in Poland proved to be a valuable ally in stopping these illegal activities. We thank them for their vigilance in reporting the illegal activities of High Dreamer to our Migrant Workers Office in Prague,” Cacdac said. (PNA)