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4 OFWs intercepted at Clark Airport

October 4, 2021 Itchie G. Cabayan 415 views

FOUR female overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who were said to have presented travel documents making them appear older than they really are were intercepted at the Clark Airport by officers of the Bureau of Immigration (BI).

BI Travel Control and Enforcement Unit Officers Clarissa Bartolome and Kristan Balanquit stated that the four, whose names are withheld following anti-trafficking laws, attempted to board a Qatar Airways flight to Doha to work as household service workers (HSWs).

The victims, all hailing from the Southern part of the country, reportedly were referred by primary inspection officers for further assessment upon noticing inconsistencies in their responses.

They were turned over to the Clark International Airport Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking for assistance in filing cases against their recruiters. “The officers noted that the four gave highly inconsistent statements about their age and were unable to provide basic details about themselves,” said BI Commissioner Jaime Morente, who said that the minimum age to work as HSWs in the Middle East as set by the government remains at 24.

“Many trafficking victims are given fraudulently acquired documents to make them appear older than they really are for them to qualify to work abroad,” said Morente.

“These policies are in place to protect them from harm. This is a form of human trafficking, and their victims are often minors and underaged women,” he said.