by Robertzon Ramirez, Rudy Santos (The Philippine Star), 23 Apr 2021
MANILA, Philippines — Immigration officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) intercepted yesterday two women believed to be illegally recruited to work in Qatar.
The passengers, whose identities were withheld, were about to board a Qatar Airways flight when they were intercepted at the NAIA Terminal 3.
Ma. Timotea Barizo, head of the Bureau of Immigration Travel Control and Enforecent Unit, said the passengers’ overseas employment certificates (OEC) were falsified.
“Their OECs were not encoded in the database of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA). Immigration personnel thoroughly examine the documents of overseas Filipino workers before they are cleared for departure,” Barizo said.
During questioning, the passengers admitted that they paid P35,000 each in exchange for the fake employment certificates.
“Securing the proper documents and clearances from the POEA is important to protect OFWs from abusive employers,” Barizo said.
Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente lauded the efforts of BI officers at the NAIA against human trafficking.
The passengers were turned over to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking for further investigation.