Villar wants House panel to probe fake overseas job offers posted online
MANILA, Philippines — A resolution urging appropriate House of Representatives panels to investigate the proliferation of fake overseas job offers online has been filed, amid recent reports of Filipinos falling victim to posts for non-existent jobs.
House Deputy Speaker and Las Piñas Rep. Camille Villar on Tuesday said that she filed House Resolution No. 899 after government agencies like the Bureau of Immigration (BI) warned the public against human trafficking syndicates who entice victims through job postings.
Villar was referring to BI’s recent rescue of victims of a cryptocurrency-trafficking ring, along with its warning that these syndicates are targeting young professionals from urbanized areas.
“There have been countless reports of Filipinos being victimized by local placement agencies for non-existent jobs abroad and syndicates offering high-paying jobs but the jobseeker ends up in a dubious cryptocurrency group,” Villar said in a statement.
“Stories of Filipinos being victimized into working abroad legitimately but end up working as scammers instead underscore the need for the government to aggressively pursue policies that would better protect them from illegal recruiters and international syndicates,” she added.
According to the lawmaker, salaries of around $800 to $1,000 are commonly offered under the condition that the applicants leave the Philippines as tourists. However, the applicants who left the country were not given the promised salaries and were subjected to physical torture.
Villar said an investigation is needed as BI had already removed at least two of its employees for supposed links to a trafficking syndicate. If the resolution is adopted, the committee on labor and employment and the committee on overseas workers affairs will be asked to check on the issue.
“While the agency reported that it has since removed two employees who were suspected to have ties to human trafficking syndicates, it should provide an impetus to authorities to aggressively pursue a full-blown investigation to determine the extent of participation of other employees, unmask those behind the syndicates, and prosecute them,” Villar said in the resolution.
BI and other government agencies like the Department of Foreign Affairs have warned the public, including overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), about cryptocurrency scams posted on social media — which promise a high yield or return on investment.
One of the four male victims recruited online last February is a former OFW. The victims were flown from Dubai to Thailand, and then eventually to Myanmar.