100 trafficked Pinoys repatriated from Dubai since January
More than half of the close to 200 Filipinos repatriated from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates from January to June this year were trafficked or "tourist workers," alarming Filipino officials there.
"Tourist workers" refer to Filipinos who leave the country with tourist visas to seek employment abroad.
Citing the Philippine Consulate in Dubai, a report on Gulf News said about 100 of the 186 OFWs repatriated for the first half of 2016 were victims of contract substitution or "tourist workers" victimized by illegal recruiters.
"The victims are usually from provinces and when you see them, they're so naive that they'll believe anything promised to them," the report quoted Philippine Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes as saying.
Noting the increase in the number of Filipino "tourist workers" there, the report pointed out that during a job fair on June 3, majority of the estimated 12,000 job seekers were professionals with tourist visas.
Cortes said this showed that Philippine border controls failed to properly screen genuine tourists from those who are not.
He also said some of the cases they handled involved Filipino workers expecting to work as English teachers in the UAE but ended up as domestic helpers. The Philippines has stopped sending domestic helpers to the UAE.
In other cases, the victims' contracts that they signed in the Philippines were replaced by a less favorable one upon their arrival in the UAE — a violation of Ministerial Decree 764 of 2015. —Rie Takumi/KBK, GMA News