Friday, June 14, 2024

BI warns vs. fake overseas employment certificates sold online 

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The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Wednesday warned the public of fake overseas employment certificates (OECs) that are being sold online after two Filipinos were recently intercepted at airports. 

An OEC is required of all Filipinos departing the country for employment abroad as it serves as an exit clearance, exempting one from paying travel tax and airport terminal fees. 

The first case was a 49-year-old woman who attempted to board a flight to the United Arab Emirates at the Clark International Airport on May 24.

The victim, a former overseas Filipino worker, said she was being redeployed to the UAE. 

Her fake OEC was bought via WhatsApp for P7,200, the BI said. 

In a separate case, a 25-year-old woman tried to depart for Kuwait at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 on May 26. 

The bureau said that she secured her OEC from a Facebook account called “OEC Appointment” and paid P500. 

The BI said that selling of fake documents for illegal departure of workers can be considered human trafficking. 

“We have a data-sharing agreement with the DMW [Department of Migrant Workers], allowing us to instantly check in the database if these certificates are legitimate,” said BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco. “Aspiring OFWs should not buy their permits online as this is a scam. Always ensure that you go through legal means when departing as workers.” 

The OEC can be secured through DMW’s online portal. — Vince Angelo Ferreras/BM, GMA Integrated News

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