MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has warned prospective overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) against using the country’s backdoor to work abroad.
POEA chief Hans Leo Cacdac said workers, mostly women who were deployed after leaving through the southern backdoor, usually end up stranded without work permit or are forced to accept low paying jobs.
“Human traffickers use exit points in the southern provinces to deploy workers without proper work documents to countries such as Malaysia, South Korea, China, Morocco, Lebanon, Syria, and other Middle East countries,” Cacdac said.
He said that from the southernmost parts of Mindanao and Palawan, traveling by sea to Malaysia is the more convenient way for a human trafficker to move his victims to their final country of destination.
Recently, Cacdac said the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Kuala Lumpur reported that five Filipino women were being held in a nightclub in Malaysia, which is controlled by a large syndicate involved in human trafficking for prostitution.
It was learned that the syndicate transported the victims through the Zamboanga-Sandakan-Kota Kinabalu-Johor Bahru route.
Cacdac added that based on recent studies, most of the human trafficking victims in the Philippines were travelers deceived by their recruiters about their real jobs or the conditions of their employment overseas.
“Hence, I would advise aspiring OFWs to be doubtful when recruiters offer Mindanao and Palawan as exit points,” he said.