MANILA – Bureau of Immigration (BI) inspectors deployed in international airports have been directed to strictly screen Filipinos departing for Japan in a bid to curb human trafficking.
In a memorandum issued on Thursday, Commissioner Jaime Morente instructed immigration inspectors in the ports of exit to “observe due attentiveness” to Filipino passengers bound to the said country, particularly to those with visas for intra-company transferee, short-term visitor, student, and engineer specialist in humanities and international services.
This came after the BI received reports that said visas were being used by unscrupulous recruiters to circumvent government rules on the documentation and deployment of Filipino workers to Japan.
“This emerging trend exposes these travelers to the dangers of trafficking in persons and illegal recruitment which the BI is mandated to prevent,” Morente said in a statement.
Morente said the scheme was being employed to make it appear that the purpose of the Filipino travelers is exempted from securing an overseas employment certificate (OEC).
He added that by using these visas, the passengers are declaring that they are traveling and staying in Japan for only a brief period although their actual intention is to work in the East Asian country.
Meanwhile, BI port operations chief Carlos Capulong said all immigration inspectors assigned at the different ports have been instructed to be more meticulous in screening these travelers.
“We have instructed them that if the declared purpose of travel of a passenger is doubtful, the latter should be referred to for secondary inspection to our travel control and enforcement unit,” he said. (PNA)