MANILA – A recruitment agency deploying construction workers for New Zealand was suspended by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).

“The order of preventive suspension issued against Sacred Heart International shall bar the agency from deploying overseas Filipino workers,” POEA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac said in a statement.

Cacdac issued the order after it received a complaint from a group of eight Filipino construction workers in New Zealand who complained of illegal exaction or placement fee.

The workers claimed that Sacred Heart charged each of them P330,000, but it only issued them receipts for P120,000. Their complaint was endorsed by the Philippine Embassy in New Zealand.

They also claimed the agency referred them to lending companies, which charged them with high interest rates, which amounted to half a million pesos.

The suspension order will take effect until POEA concludes its investigation.

He said the probe will also cover Sacred Heart’s foreign counterpart placement agency, Business Immigration, and the employer of the affected workers in New Zealand, Valiant Homes Limited.

“Business Immigration and Valiant Homes, Inc. meanwhile cannot hire OFWs from the Philippines until further ordered by the POEA,” Cacdac said. Source:

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