BI rescues 2 Pinays bound for China to become surrogate mothers
MANILA, Philippines — Two Filipino women bound for China were rescued by the Bureau of Immigration (BI) from suspected human traffickers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) on Thursday.
In a statement on Friday, the BI said the Filipinas admitted that they were recruited to become surrogate mothers in China.
They were checked in at a flight bound for Hong Kong when they were intercepted at the immigration departure area of the Naia Terminal 3, the BI said.
The Filipinas, 32-year-old “Ria” and 28-year-old “Ellie,” who were former overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), reportedly confessed that they agreed to become surrogate mothers because they needed the money to support their families.
“They immediately confessed during the interview that they were actually bound for China where their services as surrogate mothers were engaged for a fee of P300,000,” BI Port Operations Division Chief Grifton Medina said in a statement.
“Both victims said their visas will be processed in Hong Kong,” he added.
A surrogate mother is a woman who agrees to become pregnant and give birth to a child for another person. A surrogacy arrangement is usually contracted when pregnancy is medically impossible or too risky for the intended mother.
Medina said the women were intercepted since the arrangement exploits women whose wombs are treated as commodities to meet the reproductive needs of wealthy people unable to bear a child.
“We do not want the Philippines to be the next hub for this ‘womb for rent’ business,” he said.
“It exploits the vulnerability of our women, who, out of poverty and desperation agrees to such arrangements,” Medina added.
The BI said the women reported that they were recruited through a website that invites women who are willing to bear a child for others in exchange for a fee.
The women were turned over to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) for further investigation and assistance, the bureau said. /ee