DMW shuts down operations of a maritime consultancy firm

The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) has ordered the closure of a maritime consultancy firm in Binondo, Manila, following a series of surveillance operations and receipt of complaint from a victim of their illegal recruitment activities.

The DMW-Migrant Workers Protection Bureau (MWPB), in coordination with the barangay officials of Brgy. 297 and officers of Manila Police District Station 11, padlocked the office of JCB-Success Maritime Consultancy Services (JCB), by virtue of Closure Order No. 1 Series of 2023, on March 29, 2023. Operatives of the MWPB found that JCB-Success Maritime Consultancy Services has been engaging in recruitment and placement activities without the necessary license or authority from the DMW.

The firm allegedly offers various seabased positions for male seafarers such as deck seafarers, able engine seafarers, oilers and engineers, as well as for female seafarers as yacht stewards.

The DMW operatives confirmed that the JCB, under the guise of a provider of consultation services, is engaged in illegal recruitment. JCB has required applicants to submit their travel documents such as Seafarer’s Identification and Record Book (SIRB), passport, resume, and skill certifications. Upon the evaluation of the applicants’ qualifications, JCB would refer them to their contact international manning agency for deployment. They alleged that the said counterpart international manning agency decides the deployment of applicants and the collection of fees. The firm also assures applicants that they accommodate applicants with inadequate training and that they have already deployed applicants since November 2022.

Arrested during the implementation of the closure order were Jennifer Bartolome, owner, and Catrine Bugayong a.k.a. Kairen, staff, who will be facing non-bailable illegal recruitment committed in large-scale charges for violating Republic Act No. 8042, as amended by Republic Act No. 10022.

With its closure, JCB-Success Maritime Consultancy Services, its owner, employees and responsible officers will be included in the DMW’s list of persons and establishments with derogatory records and will be barred from participating in the government’s overseas recruitment program.

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