Illegal recruiters still sending underaged Pinoys abroad, says BI

Published June 6, 2021, 12:42 PM

by Jun Ramirez

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) says the trafficking of underaged overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) continues as it revealed the interception of two young women who falsified their dates of birth to make it appear that they were qualified to work in the Middle East.

(File photo / MANILA BULLETIN)

In this regard, Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente again warned the public against the modus operandi of recruitment syndicates that provide their victims with fraudulent travel documents in order to facilitate their Illegal employment overseas.

“Do not allow these syndicates to entice you to agree to these illegal methods because our officers at the airport are experts in spotting OFWs who are apparently underage and thus are ineligible for overseas job deployment,” Morente said.

He cautioned Filipinos who have not yet reach the minimum age requirement for OFWs to forego their plans of working abroad as they are most prone to suffer abuse and exploitation.

The minimum age requirement to work in the Middle East is 23.

According to Morente, members of the bureau’s travel control and enforcement unit (TCEU) intercepted separately two women at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) before they could board their flights to the Middle East last week.

The first victim from Sultan Kudarat claimed she was 27, but later admitted during interview that she was only 21 years old.

The other woman from Pikit, Cotabato presented documents showing she was 26 years old, but later confessed that she was only 19 years old.

Both victims were turned over to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) for assistance in filing cases against their recruiters.