DMW padlocks unlicensed maritime consultancy firm


Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) Secretary Susan “Toots” Ople has ordered the closure of a maritime consultancy firm in Sta. Cruz, Manila for alleged illegal recruitment activities.

Acting on orders of the Secretary, the department’s Migrant Workers Protection Bureau (DMW-MWPB), formerly the Anti-Illegal Recruitment Branch, padlocked the office of JCB-Success Maritime Consultancy Services.

“We encourage victims of illegal recruitment and human trafficking to report these crimes to us. Workers’ protection is one of the core functions of the DMW,” the DMW chief said.

Manuel Jericho L. Ramos, one of the victims, said in his sworn testimony that he applied for the position of engine cadet posted by JCB in September 2021, a year and a half ago.

He and three other applicants were promised deployment within a three-month period, which never happened. They were also asked to pay P75,000 each as placement fee and were encouraged to convince other colleagues to apply for positions offered by JCB.

Ramos received his travel documents in August last year but noticed that the visa on the document appeared tampered. After months of waiting for his deployment and growing suspicions over the agency’s questionable actions, he decided to report the matter to the DMW in October 2022.

Surveillance operations showed that JCB-Success Maritime Consultancy Services had been recruiting and placing seafarers without a permit from the DMW.

The bogus agency had been offering jobs as deck seafarers, able engine seafarers, oilers, engineers, and yacht stewards.

It allegedly required applicants to submit their travel documents such as Seafarer’s Identification and Record Book (SIRB), passport, resume, and skill certifications.

After evaluation, the firm would refer the applicants to an international manning agency for deployment. The applicants were told that the said counterpart agency decides on the deployment and the collection of fees.

Even those deemed unqualified were promised jobs.

The agency claimed that they have been deploying applicants since November 2022.

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

The DMW will also file illegal recruitment cases against the firm’s owner and officers.