by Rudy Santos, Evelyn Macairan (The Philippine Star), 19 Jul 2021
MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) recently prevented from leaving the country four female overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who were reportedly recruited to work as domestic helpers in Dubai.
In a report to Bureau of Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente, the BI’s Travel Control and Enforcement Unit said the passengers were about to board an Emirates flight to Dubai at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 when they were intercepted on July 12.
Morente said the OFWs showed valid work permits and visas to Albania, but admitted after interrogation that they were hired to work as household service workers in Dubai.
“This is a modus operandi employed by human traffickers and illegal recruiters. They will obtain work permits and job contracts for OFWs to work in another country, such as Albania or Maldives, when in fact their actual work destination is Dubai,” Morente said.
“This is a third country recruitment where victims are given working documents for one country but end up being deployed to another country. In many instances, victims are made to accept working conditions that are not acceptable just to be deployed for work.”
The BI said the passengers presented documents showing they were hired to work either as housekeepers or warehouse staffers in Albania.
When pressed on their actual travel itinerary, the OFWs confessed that they had been recruited to work as household service workers in Dubai and that they would be handed their job contracts and working visas upon arrival at the emirate.
Their employers reportedly paid as much as P200,000 for the processing of their visas.
Morente warned prospective OFWs not to fall prey to the schemes of human traffickers.
“Don’t be misled by these unscrupulous individuals and agree to illegal means just to be deployed for work,” Morente said.
The OFWs were endorsed to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking for investigation and filing of charges against their recruiters.