The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has issued a warning about illegal recruitment syndicates issuing fake Overseas Employment Certificates (OECs).
BI Commissioner Siegfred B. Mison said that these syndicates deceive OFWs by giving them fraudulent OECs. “Illegal recruiters have developed a new modus of giving fake OECs to workers,” said Mison.
“Often victims end up deployed in a different country, with salaries below the minimum standard, and they get exploited,” he added.
In 2015, at Manila’s NAIA airport alone, there were 45 victims turned over to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).
Last September, an attempt was intercepted at the NAIA when the victim, a 46-year-old woman presented a fake OEC to work as a maid in Saudi Arabia. She admitted to have been recruited by a certain “Roldan and Alelie” who provided her documents and gave her instructions on how to present herself to immigration.
Another attempt involved three female victims who claimed that they were OFWs. They presented fake visas and OECs bound for Dubai, but were actually bound for Jordan to work as dishwashers. When interviewed, they stated that their documents were handed to them outside the airport, a few minutes before their flight.
The victims were immediately referred to the Inter -Agency Council Against Trafficking for further investigation.
POEA revokes the licenses of agencies that provide overseas workers with spurious documents. the BI, as part of the IACAT, is mandated to protect departing Filipinos from illegal recruitment and human trafficking.
Mison advised aspiring overseas workers to be vigilant and not to fall prey to such schemes.