BI orders ‘stricter’ check in Japan-bound Pinoys

June 9, 2022 Jun I. Legaspi 122 views

THE Bureau of Immigration (BI) has ordered its inspectors deployed in the international airports to strictly screen Filipinos departing for Japan as part of ongoing efforts by the agency to curb human trafficking.

In a recent memorandum, Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente instructed immigration inspectors in the ports of exit to “observe due attentiveness” to Filipino passengers bound for Japan.

Morente directed the BI personnel to exercise “extra caution” in clearing the departure of Filipinos with visas for the intra-company transferee, short-term visitor, student, and engineer specialist in humanities and international services.

According to the BI chief, there have been reports that unscrupulous recruiters were using visas to circumvent government rules on the documentation and deployment of Filipino workers to Japan.

He said the scheme was being employed to make it “appear” that the purpose of the Japan-bound Filipino passenger is exempt from securing an overseas employment certificate (OEC).

Morente said that by using these visas, the passengers declare that they are traveling and staying in Japan for only a brief period, although their actual intention is to work in the said country.

“This emerging trend exposes these travelers to the dangers of trafficking in persons and illegal recruitment, which the BI is mandated to prevent,” Morente added.

Atty. Carlos Capulong, BI Port operations chief, said that in compliance with the memorandum, he has already directed all immigration inspectors assigned at the different ports to be more meticulous in screening Japan-bound travelers.

“We have instructed them that if a passenger’s declared purpose of travel is doubtful, the latter should be referred for secondary inspection to our travel control and enforcement unit,” Capulong bared.