Would-be OFWs warned vs. exiting through Zamboanga, Tawi-Tawi
The Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday warned Filipino jobseekers that overseas job offers where they are asked to exit through Western Mindanao are usually scams perpetrated by illegal recruiters.
The embassy issued the warning after several Filipinos were recently arrested in Sabah, among them a Filipina who was offered a job as a domestic helper in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates by an employee of a Manila-based company.
"Being made to exit via Zamboanga or Tawi-Tawi is a sure tell-tale sign of illegal trafficking and should ring alarm bells to job-seekers," the embassy said. "Otherwise, they risk apprehension by Sabah authorities for unauthorized entry or fall victim to sex and other traffickers along the way."
The embassy said with the implementation of stricter anti-trafficking measures at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and other airports, "illegal recruitment syndicates have sent those wishing to work overseas to Zamboanga or Tawi-Tawi and to cross-over to Sabah for their onward destinations in Dubai or elsewhere."
It said just last month, Sabah authorities arrested and detained 15 Filipinas who were allegedly recruited to work as household service workers through Facebook by a certain Flordeliza Flores Eborde.
One of the Filipinas said Eborde referred them to a Ms. Venus, who could only be contacted through mobile phone.
Ms. Venus allegedly instructed the women to go to Palawan, then Tawi-Tawi, where they were transferred to a speedboat headed for Sabah with a guide known as Mr. Jomar or Dumar Kasim.
"We have seen all too often these sad cases of job seekers who end in a foreign jail or in the hands of sex traffickers. These are risks not worth taking,” the embassy said
It reminded prospective OFWs that employment visas issued by the embassy of their destination and work permits processed by the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency are needed before they can exit the country for work. —Rie Takumi/KBK, GMA News