BI stops woman’s departure after spotting red flags in work papers
MANILA, Philippines — Immigration authorities stopped a 36-year-old woman from leaving the country after sensing that she might have been a victim of illegal recruitment.
The woman, who initially pretended to be a “byahera” or a traveler who is into the business of “ukay-ukay” (used clothes) and “pasabuy” (buying goods in/on behalf of someone) as she also claimed to be an employee of a local clothing company, was intercepted on Monday, November 6, at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) as she attempted to leave for Hong Kong.
According to the Bureau of Immigration (BI), the woman presented a certificate of employment during pre-departure screening which officers found suspicious. She was then asked to undergo a secondary inspection where officers detected more red flags especially that her declarations regarding her travel have numerous inconsistencies.
“During inspection, she admitted that her travel documents were just sent to her via Facebook Messenger, and that she presented fake work documents,” the BI said in a statement.
The bureau also said that the woman’s passport has a Malta employment visa, a glaring contradiction to her initial claims.
Eventually, the BI said the woman admitted that she was offered to work illegally as a caregiver in Malta in Europe and that she found the work through a job-hunting website.
The agency said the woman was transferred to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking’s custody. The anti-trafficking body will also assist the woman in the filing of complaints against her recruiter, the BI added.
BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco warned job seekers to be extra careful when accepting overseas work offers, especially online, and urged them to make sure that all processes in their employment are legal.
Tansingco stressed that many Filipinos return to the Philippines after falling victim to fraudulent recruiters who promised them high-paying and reliable jobs abroad but only to experience difficulties such as unreasonable wages and dire working conditions.