THE Bureau of Immigration announced on Monday that it has prevented four female overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from leaving the country for their failure to provide documents showing their real age. 

In a report to BI Commissioner Jaime Morente, BI Travel Control and Enforcement Unit Officers Clarissa Bartolome and Kristan Balanquit said the four OFWs attempted to board a Qatar Airways flight to Doha to work as household service workers (HSWs) last Sunday. 

However, alert immigration officers noted that they gave highly inconsistent statements about their age and were unable to provide basic details about themselves during the screening. 

The BI said the OFWs, who were all from the Southern part of the country, were referred by primary inspection officers for further assessment upon noticing inconsistencies in their responses.

According to the Bureau, 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,” Morente said.

 “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 added.

The OFWs were turned over to the Clark International Airport Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking so they can be given assistance, and to help authorities run after their recruiters.  





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