PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 2018
FURTHER AMENDING ARTICLES 38 AND 39 OF THE LABOR CODE BY MAKING ILLEGAL RECRUITMENT A CRIME OF ECONOMIC SABOTAGE AND PUNISHABLE WITH LIFE IMPRISONMENT.
WHEREAS, despite existing provisions of law and the continuing efforts to eliminate them, illegal recruiters, have continued to proliferate and victimize unwary workers;
WHEREAS, illegal recruiters have defrauded and caused untold sufferings to thousands of Filipino workers and their families;
WHEREAS, experience shows that because of light penalties, illegal recruiters have become more callous and bolder in their modus operandi and usually carry out their activities as syndicates or in large scale;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Republic of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution, do hereby order:
SECTION 1. Articles 38 and 39 of Presidential Decree No. 442, as amended, otherwise known as the Labor Code of the Philippines, is hereby further amended to read as follows:
“Art. 38. Illegal Recruitment. — (a) Any recruitment activities, including the prohibited practices enumerated under Article 34 of this Code, to be undertaken by non-licensees or non-holders of authority shall be deemed illegal and punishable under Article 39 of this Code. The Ministry of Labor and Employment or any law enforcement officers may initiate complaints under this Article.
(b) Illegal recruitment when committed by a syndicate or in large scale shall be considered an offense involving economic sabotage and shall be penalized in accordance with Article 39 hereof.
Illegal recruitment is deemed committed by a syndicate if carried out by a group of three (3) or more persons conspiring and/or confederating with one another in carrying out any unlawful or illegal transaction, enterprise or scheme defined under this first paragraph hereof. Illegal recruitment is deemed committed in large scale if committed against three (3) or more persons individually or as a group.
(c) The Minister of Labor and Employment or his duly authorized representatives shall have the power to cause the arrest and detention of such non-license or non-holder of authority if after investigation it is determined that his activities constitute a danger to national security and public order or will lead to further exploitation of job-seekers. The Minister shall order the search of the office or premises and seizure of documents paraphernalia, properties and other implements used in illegal recruitment activities and the closure of companies, establishment and entities found to be engaged in the recruitment of workers for overseas employment, without having been licensed or authorized to do so.
“Art. 39. Penalties. — (a) The penalty of imprisonment and a fine of One Hundred Thousand Pesos (₱100,000) shall be imposed if illegal recruitment constitutes economic sabotage as defined herein;
(b) Any licensee or holder of authority found violating or causing another to violate any provision of this Title or its implementing rules and regulations shall, upon conviction thereof, suffer the penalty of imprisonment of not less than two years nor more than five years or a fine of not less than ₱10,000 nor more than ₱50,000 or both such imprisonment and fine, at the discretion of the court;
(c) Any person who is neither a licensee nor a holder of authority under this Title found violating any provision thereof or its implementing rules and regulations shall, upon conviction thereof, suffer the penalty of imprisonment of not less than four years nor more than eight years or a fine of not less than ₱20,000 nor more than ₱100,000 or both such imprisonment and fine, at the discretion of the Court;
(d) If the offender is a corporation, partnership, association or entity, the penalty shall be imposed upon the officer or officers of the corporation, partnership, association or entity responsible for violation; and if such officer is an alien, he shall, in addition to the penalties herein prescribed be deported without further proceedings;
(e) In every case, conviction shall cause and carry the automatic revocation of the license or authority and all the permits and privileges granted to such person or entity under this Title, and the forfeiture of the cash and surety bonds in favor of the Overseas Employment Development Board or the National Seamen Board, as the case may be, both of which are authorized to use the same exclusively to promote their objectives.
SECTION 2. This Decree shall take effect immediately.
Done in the City of Manila, this 26th day of January, 1986.
(Sgd.) FERDINAND E. MARCOS
By the President:
(Sgd.) JUAN C. TUVERA
Presidential Executive Assistant