he Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Monday advised Filipino travelers to “exercise extreme caution”due to the ongoing crisis in Myanmar and illegal recruitment activities.
According to BI, Myanmar is alert level 2, also known as the restricted phase due to conflicts.
“This means that only documented overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are allowed to travel to Myanmar, with stringent protocols and safeguards in place,” BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco said in a statement.
The precaution stemmed from the repatriation of four Filipinos who fell victim to illegal recruiters.
They arrived in Manila from Yangon, Myanmar on November 21.
The BI said that the repatriates admitted to not having proper working visas and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration registration during their stay in Myanmar.
They also left the Philippines under the guise of being tourists but were later recruited by their foreign acquaintances.
Two of the victims were recruited through a job posting on Facebook as customer service representatives, according to Tansingco.
“Upon arriving, they were coerced into engaging in online scamming activities for an undisclosed Chinese company,” he said.
“These individuals were subjected to physical abuse, and poor working conditions,” he added.
“Illegal recruitment not only violates our laws but also undermines the rights and welfare of Filipino workers,” he said.
“Aspiring OFWs are urged to verify the legitimacy of job offers, ensure proper documentation, and seek guidance from licensed recruitment agencies before applying abroad,” he added.
Source: Asia News Network