PH Embassy in Prague warns OFW to take precautions to avoid problems on arrival

By Roy Mabasa

The Philippine Embassy in the Czech Republic on Tuesday warned overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to ensure they are properly documented before leaving Manila following the interception of two potential victims of human trafficking in Prague.

In a social media post, Consul Juan Dayang Jr. said the two individuals, both from Batangas, arrived in Prague on Sunday but their Czech employer failed to pick them up at the airport.

The two OFWs were recruited by Golden Care International Employment, a Philippine-registered licensed recruitment agency which has partnered with Atlas S.R.O./Axis S.R.O., a Prague-based employer.

In another post, Dayang said the Embassy is careful in handling any information regarding the two Filipino workers considering the “sensitive” nature of their case.

Embassy records, however, showed that the Czech employer Atlas S.R.O./Axis S.R.O is reportedly under investigation by Czech authorities for alleged human trafficking violations.

According to Dayang, the two OFWs reportedly paid Golden Care International Employment PhP60,000 each to cover their placement fees and airplane tickets.

With nobody fetching them at the Prague airport, the two OFWs sought the help of concerned Filipino community members through the social media, who in turn, referred them to the Embassy for assistance.

Dayang said he sought a meeting with the agents of the National Headquarters Against Organized Crime (NCOZ) of the Czech Police at the Embassy to facilitate the assistance for the two victims.

The Embassy was able to secure the victims a two-month protective shelter while Czech authorities are assisting them in finding a job in that country.

Recently, eight individuals, including two Filipinos, were arrested and detained by Czech Police based on a 2015 case of Filipino workers who were subjected to labor exploitation.

Dayang said the Embassy has reported the said abuses to the Department of Foreign Affairs as well as to the Czech Authorities in 2015.

Prior to leaving Manila, he also advised Czech-bound OFWs not to sign substituted employment contracts.