Embassy warns job seekers from exiting through Zambo, Tawi-Tawi PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 27 August 2016 11:52

The Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur warns Filipinos about exiting the country through Western Mindanao and then Sabah in pursuit of jobs overseas, after a number of them were held by Sabah authorities.

With the implementation of stricter anti-trafficking measures at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and other airports, illegal recruitment syndicates have sent those wishing to work overseas to Zamboanga or Tawi-Tawi and to cross-over to Sabah for their onward destinations in Dubai or elsewhere.

“Being made to exit via Zamboanga or Tawi-Tawi is a sure tell-tale sign of illegal trafficking and should ring alarm bells to job-seekers, otherwise, they risk apprehension by Sabah authorities for unauthorized entry or fall victim to sex and other traffickers along the way,” the Embassy said.

“Proper employment visas issued by the embassy or consulate in Manila of their destination country and work permits processed by the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) are generally required before a Filipino can depart for work overseas. If the job offer requires the applicant to exit through Mindanao, it is most likely a human trafficking ploy,” the Embassy added.

In the meantime, the Embassy lauded the announcement of the Bureau of Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente to deploy more Immigration officers and intelligence agents to six stations in Mindanao and Palawan. This is IN view of reports of the entry and presence of foreign terrorists in Mindanao, and that victims of human trafficking are being spirited out of the country via the backdoor with the help of syndicates and illegal recruiters.

One such case is about a Filipina who was offered a job as a domestic helper in Dubai by a certain Layes Lynian of Al Eternad Labor Supply company based in Manila. According to her husband who alerted the Embassy, the Filipina and other recruits were made to go to Zamboanga, and then boarded a ferry to Sandakan in Sabah.  Upon arrival there, the Filipina and her companions were apprehended by Sabah authorities and incarcerated. The Embassy is extending assistance to these Filipinas.

Fifteen Filipinas also seeking work in Dubai who crossed over to Sandakan were taken into custody by Sabah Immigration authorities on July 20. They were charged in court and meted sentences ranging from four to 10 months in prison and payment of fines. The Embassy is working on reducing their time in prison.

According to one of the Filipinas, they were recruited to work as household service workers via Facebook by a certain Flordeliza Flores Eborde, who referred them to a Ms. Venus, whom can be contacted only through mobile phone.

Ms. Venus instructed them to go to Palawan. From Brooke’s Point in Palawan, the Filipina was made to board a motorboat to Mapun in Tawi-Tawi. There, she and seven others were transferred on a speedboat to travel to Sabah with an agent/guide known as Mr. Jomar or Dumar Kasim. They were apprehended in Sandakan by Sabah authorities while they were awaiting onward transportation to Dubai.

Immigration regulations are strictly enforced in Sabah, and a night-time curfew is in place in the waters off the said area.

“We have seen all too often these sad cases of job seekers who end in a foreign jail or in the hands of sex traffickers. These are risks not worth taking,” the Embassy said.