Photo: Windsor Star

Philippines

Migrante Ontario took issue with ‘rosy’ report on mushroom farming

By Ted Alcuitas

Following a complaint by the migrant’s group, Migrante Ontario, ABS-CBN News issued an apology yesterday (April 14) acknowledging that there were “lapses” in the report.

A report that aired on “TV Patrol” and carried on the ABS-CBN News website said Filipinos could earn as much as P150,000 a month working as mushroom pickers in Canada.

In today’s rate,it is equivalent to $3,646.80.

According to job search site Neovoo, the average salary for mushroom pickers in Canada is $23, 705 a year.

Philippine Canadian News.com (PCN) did not carry the CBS-CBN story but  instead posted the warning by the Philippine Embassy in Canada .

The  Embassy urged Filipinos to “exercise caution” when applying for jobs that “bypass” government standards after the report was aired.

Filipinos abroad should coordinate with the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration or the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in their respective areas, the embassy said in a statement dated April 10.

Philippine Embassy issues warning on alleged work

In a “letter to the editor” responding to the report and posted on its Facebook page, Migrante Ontario said the report was not an accurate portrayal of the “life and working conditions of Filipino temporary workers and of migrant workers in the agricultural sector in general.”

The group added that the article “serves to abet unscrupulous recruiters in luring Filipinos to work in Canada under conditions that potentially expose them to exploitation by these recruiters and employers.”

“While the job opportunities exist, upon checking with the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency and other authorities, it turned out that the Canadian company has not sought accreditation with them,” ABS-CBN News head Ging Reyes said.

“We acknowledge our lapses in applying due diligence in covering the story from Canada.”

“We have come out with a follow-up report that carried the advice and warning of POEA against unaccredited employers and recruitment agencies,” Reyes added.

“We will continue to follow the issue, investigate, and report on the state of our Filipino workers in Canada and other countries.”

 

Migrante called on the government to investigate the plight of Filipinos working in the agriculture sector in Canada.

Below is ABS-CBN News’ full statement:

“ABS-CBN News apologizes for a report last April 7 and 9 on the job opportunities for Filipinos as mushroom pickers in Ontario, Canada. While the job opportunities exist, upon checking with the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency and other authorities, it turned out that the Canadian company has not sought accreditation with them.

“We acknowledge our lapses in applying due diligence in covering the story from Canada. Our Standards and Practices unit is now addressing this. We have come out with a follow-up report that carried the advice and warning of POEA against unaccredited employers and recruitment agencies.

“We will continue to follow the issue, investigate, and report on the state of our Filipino workers in Canada and other countries.”