BI: Philippines top source for traffickers.
"The Philippines is a top source country for traffickers," the Bureau of Immigration on Monday said as it explains that this is the reason for its strict implementation of departure "formalities" to Filipinos bound for international destinations.
In a TV interview, BI Chief Fred Mison said the Bureau and Inter-Agency Council against Trafficking (IACAT) has come up with a set of clear-cut rules under the Guidelines on Departure Formalities for International Bound Passengers approved by the Department of Justice.
Mison said the guidelines were created to protect Filipinos from becoming victims of human trafficking.
Mison warned against a common practice of leaving the country in the guise of a tourist and essentially working for an employer upon reaching the country of destination. He stressed that undocumented Filipinos are more prone to abuse in other countries.
"Since they already invested so much for their trip, they will not go home empty-handed, making them more susceptible to trafficking." Mison said.
Mison said women, first time travelers and younger travelers are the most prone to trafficking.
"Women around 30 years old are very prone to trafficking. Minors are subject to secondary check," Mison said.
Mison said the BI is stricter with visa-free countries because these are considered transit points accounting for high incidents of human trafficking.
Mison appealed for understanding from Filipino travelers who may be inconvenienced by the guidelines.
Mison said the Philippines has been elevated to Tier 2 status in the US Department Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report. (Mary Rose A. Hogaza)