By Leonel Abasola

Senate plenary hall (File photo)

MANILA – Senator Raffy Tulfo on Thursday filed another bill seeking an inquiry into the reported multi-million illegal recruitment that victimized Filipinos who plan to work in Italy.

In filing Senate Resolution No. (SRN) 816, Tulfo cited reports that hundreds of victims were charged exorbitant placement and consultancy fees for jobs that turned out to be non-existent.

He said he would also investigate the allegations of victims on the supposed “non-action” by the Philippine Consulate in Milan.

Tulfo said there is a need to review existing laws and policies on illegal recruitment and adopt other legislative measures “to curb the proliferation of such vicious acts.”

He identified the immigration consultancy firm victimizing aspiring overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) as Alpha Assistenza SRL headed by Filipino co-CEOs Krizelle Respicio and Frederick Dutaro.

The OFW victims were reportedly lured into believing that they would get jobs in Italy after paying Alpha Assistenza at least 2,500 euros (PHP120,000), while some of them admitted to paying a total of 5,780 euros (PHP347,140).

Alpha Assistenza SRL had no legal personality whatsoever to process the work visa applications of Filipinos seeking jobs in Italy, Tulfo said.

He explained that Alpha Assistenza’s scheme allegedly involved the use of bogus work permits (nulla osta), which the OFWs only discovered as fake when these were presented at the visa processing center.

A total of 68 complainants have already filed formal complaints with the Department of Justice in Manila while the Philippine Embassy in Italy has alerted the Public Prosecutors Office in Rome, the SUI, the Questura, and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the alleged large-scale fraud.

Tulfo filed SRN 816 after Senator Risa Hontiveros also sought an inquiry into the Alpha Assistenza and its officials under her own SRN 814.

SRN 814 detailed the alleged fraudulent scheme of the immigration consultancy firm, which has preyed on Filipinos who are dreaming of working in Italy. (PNA)