AMID reports that trafficking syndicates are again recruiting underaged Filipinas to work abroad, Bureau of Immigration (BI) officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) have been ordered to carefully screen departing overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
It was learned from BI Port Operations Division Chief Grifton Medina that BI personnel manning immigration booths at the airport have been directed to conduct strict screening of departing OFW so as to ensure that they are of legal age and are eligible for overseas deployment.
In cases of doubt, BI officers are instructed to refer these passengers to the Travel Control and Enforcement Unit (TCEU) for secondary inspection..
Based on an order from the BI commissioner, Medina said that BI personnel have been assigned to conduct pre-screening of departing OFWs to watch out for passengers who appear to be minors or below 23 years old, which is the age requirement for overseas household service workers.
He said the strict screening was ordered after a 21-year-old Filipina household worker bound for Saudi Arabia was intercepted last Wednesday by BI officers at the NAIA terminal 1 before she could board a Philippine Airlines flight to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.