BI warns OFWs vs ‘third country recruitment’

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) warned Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) against accepting “third country recruitment” or the contract to work in another country other than the place where they were originally and legitimately hired.

With the practice of “third country recruitment,” the Philippine government would not have records of the OFWs being transported to a different country, BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco said on Sunday, Sept. 3.

Tansingco said that OFWs, who usually accept “third country recruitment” after their visas expire, would be immediately transferred to the third country and would not get an opportunity to return to the Philippines.

“While ‘third party recruitment’ is beyond the scope of the BI, we deem it necessary to share to the public stories we encounter at the airport, as we are the first to hear about this back in the Philippines,” he said.

He stressed that “OFWs should protect themselves from exploitation by ensuring proper documentation when they work abroad.”

Tansingco issued the warning after five Filipinos arrived in the Philippines last Sept. 1 after their deportation from Moscow, Russia.

He said that four of the victims, all females with valid overseas employment certificates, shared the difficulties they encountered in Russia.

“Three of the female victims were OFWs in Hong Kong and were recruited to transfer to Russia upon expiry of their contracts,” he said.

“The other female victim worked as a nanny but remained in Russia despite the expiry of her contract,” he noted.

The male deportee, on the other hand, left the Philippines as a tourist to visit his OFW wife but overstayed due to Covid-19 pandemic, he said.