(Eagle News) — Thirty-four women who were suspected of being illegally recruited to work in Saudi Arabia were rescued at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Nov. 30.
Bureau of Immigration port operations chief Grifton Medina said in a statement on Thursday, Dec. 5, that the women were intercepted after they presented travel documents with “glaring discrepancies and irregularities.”
He said immigration authorities had also already encountered two of them as they had earlier been barred from leaving the country on the same suspicion.
“It was while they were undergoing secondary inspection that our men uncovered that they were traveling as a group with 32 other victims,” he said.
BI travel control and enforcement unit chief Ma. Timotea Barizo said a check further showed the women’s visas, which said they had been hired as household service workers, did not match with the overseas employment certificates they presented, which said they would work as cleaners upon arrival in Saudi Arabia.
The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration later found the certificates were fake.
“Discrepancies like this are not allowed, especially when the actual work is in households, rather than in companies, which puts our workers at greater risk,” she said.
The women have been turned over to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking.