THE Bureau of Immigration (BI) warned the public against traffickers recruiting Filipinos to work in China without the appropriate overseas employment visas.
Immigration Commissioner Norman Tansingco issued the warning upon learning of the arrival of five Filipinos who were repatriated from China.
The passengers, who recently arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), were repatriated after being arrested and detained by Chinese immigration authorities for illegally working in the said country.
Three of them arrived last October 20 aboard an Air Asia flight, while the two others arrived the next day via a China Southern Airlines flight, which had both flown from Guangzhou province, China.
During interviews conducted by members of the Immigration Protection and Border Enforcement Section (I-PROBES), the victims recounted how they were enticed by their recruiters to travel and work in China, without securing the required overseas work permits from the government.
They said they were able to land in various jobs such as hotel housekeeper, caretaker, private tutor, and as household service workers (HSWs). Some of them recalled switching from one employer to another, even as they admitted that they were illegally working in China and could be apprehended anytime by the authorities.
One of the female victims recounted how she was made to pose as a nanny by her recruiter to facilitate her departure. Said recruiter traveled with her family, and she was made to pretend to be domestically working for them. She shared how she was overworked, and not properly compensated upon arrival in China. She ended up being imprisoned for 70 days after being arrested by Chinese authorities.
Tansingco said the experience of the repatriates should serve as a warning to other Filipinos that they should not be lured by promises of high paying jobs from strangers and foreigners, who will not help them the moment they encounter problems while working abroad.
“The best way to avoid these sad experiences is for you to go through the legal process that migrant workers should follow in applying for overseas jobs,” the BI Chief stressed.