BUREAU of Immigration (BI) officers in all international airports and other ports of entry have been ordered to be on the lookout for returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who left the country via the southern backdoor.
Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente issued the directive on Wednesday over the recent interception at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) of five Filipino women who worked as entertainers in South Korea without work permits from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).
Morente ordered members of the bureau’s Travel Control and Enforcement to probe how the five managed to leave the country and file human trafficking charges against those who facilitated their departure.
The women admitted that they initially traveled by ships to Malaysia from the seaport in Zamboanga City with the help of illegal recruiters and immigration officers.
Immigration authorities have been strict in allowing the exit of Filipino women with entertainment visas to South Korea because of reports that many of them are forced into prostitution or paid very low wages.
Morente said the officers had been identified and notices directing the respondents to explain why they should not be administratively charged were already sent to the immigration officers.
The women said they worked either as dancers or singers in South Korean nightclubs at the instance of job placement agencies that paid them their salaries.
All five victims, were turned over to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking for investigation and filing of charges against their recruiters.