SHUTDOWN. Department of Migrant Workers Secretary Susan Ople leads the closure of K-Monster Inc., an immigration consultancy firm that illegally recruits workers, in Barangay San Lorenzo, Makati City on Tuesday (Oct. 11, 2022). Ople said the agency has no license to employ workers abroad. (Screengrab from DMW Facebook)

MANILA – An immigration consultancy firm in Makati City found to be conducting illegal recruitment activities was shut down on Tuesday.

Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) Secretary Susan Ople led the closure of K-Monster Inc. in Barangay San Lorenzo, together with the department’s Anti-Illegal Recruitment Branch (AIRB), Makati police, and village officials.

During its initial surveillance operations, AIRB found that K-Monster was offering jobs for hotel workers, room attendants, cashiers, waiters, caregivers, and factory workers for deployment to Poland, Canada, and the Netherlands.

Its Facebook page states that it is a licensed immigration consultancy, with main office in Seoul, South Korea and a branch in Manila, that connects jobseekers to Canadian and European firms for permanent residency.

It offers consultancy services for education, immigration, and employment.

However, the DMW said K-Monster does not have a license to recruit workers.

"We at the DMW have zero tolerance for illegal recruiters and human traffickers. Walang K si K-Monster (K-Monster has no right) to recruit because it is not licensed with the POEA (Philippine Overseas Employment Administration) nor does it have any approved job orders," Ople said in an interview.

The alleged head office in South Korea is billed as an international talent solutions provider or staffing agency in partnership with a local recruitment agency with approved job orders in Canada, Poland, United States, and Papua New Guinea.

DMW’s investigation team said K-Monster has been allegedly collecting “advance processing” fees ranging from PHP80,000 to PHP220,000 for jobs abroad.

K-Monster claimed that the fees will cover the cost of documents like the curriculum vitae, passport, visas, work permits, other travel requirements, and endorsement to potential foreign employers.

Ople said they will file Illegal recruitment charges against K-Monster and will assist the victims in filing individual cases.

K-Monster and its staff will be included in the DMW List of Persons and Establishments with Derogatory Records, impeding them from participating in the government’s future overseas recruitment programs.

“The DMW is determined to protect our kababayans (nationals) from the activities of illegal recruiters. At the same time, we ask that they remain vigilant and always check with the DMW before engaging the services of any company or establishment that promises jobs abroad,” Ople said. (PNA)