Filipino workers seeking overseas employment have been warned against recruitment agencies using fake Overseas Employment Certificates (OECs) to lure victims.
According to Immigration Commissioner Siegfred Mison, overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who were deployed through fake OECs either receive low salaries or end up being exploited by their employers.
"Illegal recruiters have developed a new modus of giving fake OECs to workers," Mison said in a statement Monday. "Oftentimes victims end up deployed in a different country, with salaries below the minimum standard, and they end up getting exploited."
In 2015, 45 Filipinos were arrested at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) for possessing fake OECs. They were turned over to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).
Mison's warning came following several incidents reported at the NAIA recently.
Last September, a 46-year-old female was intercepted at the NAIA Terminal 1 after she presented a fake OEC to work as a household helper in Saudi Arabia.
Before that, three female victims who claimed they were OFWs en route to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates were barred from leaving the country after they presented fake visas and OECs. Authorities found out they were actually bound for Jordan to work as dishwashers.
The victims were immediately endorsed to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) to investigate further on this scheme, Mison said. The Bureau of Immigration is part of IACAT.
Mison said would-be OFWs should be vigilant against such schemes. —KBK, GMA News