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10 sex workers stopped at NAIA

May 6, 2023 Jun I. Legaspi 311 views

TEN women who were “recruited” as sex workers in Singapore were intercepted by the Bureau of Immigration as they were about to board their flight abroad.

BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco said the women, all aged 20s to early 30s, were intercepted on Friday afternoon after attempting to depart via a Cebu Pacific flight to Singapore.

“We received information earlier this month from the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) that these women were being trafficked abroad and were recruited as entertainers, but will end up as sex workers,” said Tansingco.

Tansingco said that upon receipt of the information, they immediately included the group in their monitoring records to be able to intercept them.

Tansingco shared that after including the information from IACAT on their records, they also received information from the Office of Senator Risa Hontiveros on the women, further validating their doubts on their actual purpose of travel.

The women claimed that they were traveling as tourists with friends. However, closer inspection of their records revealed valid working permits as entertainers in Singapore.

They were allegedly recruited separately online through Facebook messenger to work in a pub in Singapore. They were offered a salary of P40,000 per month, with deduction of their travel expenses for six months.

“This is a clear example of debt bondage—a tactic in trafficking—wherein they are made to pay the expenses for the recruitment,” said Tansingco. “These expenses pile up, and they end up being forced to work to pay their debt,” he added.

Tansingco then hailed the role of coordination of different government agencies in the interception.