Monday, October 30, 2006

POEA Nightmares

Been trying to get my employment pass to malaysia for the past two weeks but the nightmare called poea has been the bane of my adventures. A friend of mine once remarked that I havent seen beaurocratic red tape until I've gone through POEA. I thought LTO was the worse. Wala pala sa kalingkingan. Rude guards, changing rules (that keeps on changing on the whim of anyone), staff who do not bother to give you information that is right and a hotline that only accepts your calls at night. Twice I've been to POEA and twice I've come home empty handed. The first time I arrived at 7:45 only to find out that the office process only 30 papers for direct hirees in a day (last time i went they called 40 people). So two days later I decided to come in at 6am. I got in the office and waited for the registration list to come out. I told myself na if someone gets ahead of me pa ewan ko na lang. But it appears that the "Ewan ko na lang" took place for at 7:55 am I suddenly found out that they changed the venue of the line. I ran to the new venue and found myself fighting for the last two slots. Haay. Two hours later by some miracle I was called (i thought I was going to be called in the afternoon) only to find out another "line" was waiting upstairs. When I finally got to talk to the lady in window 6 (the start of the registration) I was told that I wasnt supposed to be there because my papers were not yet complete. As much as I wanted to scream my heart out and say "TSEHHHHH" I decided to just let it be. It was useless to argue with these people.

I do respect the process and I admire the tenacity of these workers to work in such a stressful environment. But at least sana show the people some respect. The domestic helpers were continuesly maligned and mistreated in line. Some guards would even shout at them. One time an argument ensued betweeen one applicant and the security supervisor. The security guy screamed at her and said "Magreklamo ka sa taas!!!" How rude! I don't think people who bring in millions of dollars in remitances every year, the people who virtually saved our country from total bankcruptcy should be treated that way.

How sad it is that in our own country we couldn't even treat our OFWs with enough dignity. How sad it is that the very agency that's supposed to take care of these heroes is the one who treats them like shit. Pano pa kaya sa ibang bansa? How do we tell other countries to treat our workers with respect when our very own couldn't even treat them with kindness?

My friend once remarked that the POEA just takes your money. Sad to say, I have to agree. Ang masakit dun, they take your money na, they treat you like shit pa.

I pity our country.

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