BI intercepts Filipina with a fake document at Naia
MANILA, Philippines — A Filipino passenger was intercepted by immigration officers for presenting a counterfeit pre-departure certificate, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said on Tuesday.
The BI said the Filipino woman was bound for Malta in Europe when she was intercepted at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport last November 11.
According to BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco, the woman admitted her intention to work as an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) in the country, but did not have an Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC), so she was referred for secondary inspection.
An OEC, as explained by the BI, is a document mandated by the Philippine government for OFWs to ensure proper documentation and protection while working abroad.
The BI said that the secondary inspection revealed that the woman was traveling to work as a live-in caregiver.
The bureau noted that she haD documents provided by her Maltese employer, including a certificate for the Commission on Filipinos Overseas-Guidance and Counselling Program (CFO-GCP), a pre-departure seminar for first-time Filipino migrants, who are partners of foreign nationals.
However, the BI said the passenger admitted to obtaining her documents from an internet acquaintance, including the forged CFO-GCP certificate.
Tansingco also disclosed that she confessed to not personally applying for the program and bypassing its mandatory counseling session.
“Filipinos whose sole purpose of travel is to work overseas, are required to secure OECs from the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW),” Tansingco said in a statement.
He said the processes that departing Filipinos have to undergo are meant to safeguard their well-being while abroad.
“This incident underscores the importance of exercising extreme caution when dealing with internet acquaintance,” Tansingco said.
“We encourage those seeking opportunities abroad to adhere to official channels and processes to avoid potential instances of human trafficking or illegal recruitment,” he added.