The Bureau of Immigration (BI) said Friday, Feb. 25, that it has stopped 688 human trafficking victims from leaving the country last year at international ports.
Likewise, it deferred the departure of more than 13,000 passengers, many of whom were believed illegally recruited by labor syndicates.
BI Commissioner Jaime Morente came out with the statistics to warn aspiring Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) about the danger of seeking jobs abroad with false travel papers.
The BI chief said despite vigilance exerted by immigration officers, trafficking rings continue to prey on hapless compatriots desiring to better the lives of their families in this trying times.
He said labor syndicates are using the same strategies in sending their victims abroad for huge fees.
These included the use of falsified overseas employment certificates, fake stamps of the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency, fake marriage certificate with alien spouse, and minors using the identities of their elders to work as domestic helpers mostly in the Middle East.
These ploys are easily detected by trained immigration officers, but others still managed to leave.
"It is very disappointing that many victims believed the false promises of illegal recruiters, made-up stories and fraudulently acquired travel papers," Morente lamented.