Jobseekers from the Philippines are being urged to exercise caution when considering employment offers overseas.
The Philippines government reported that illegal cross-country recruitment has been around for years with several Asian countries guilty of offering fake employment opportunities, trafficking individuals, and coercing applicants into working at fraudulent call centres.
The Facebook page of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration Anti-Illegal Recruitment (POEAAIR) announced late last month that Filipinos should be wary of accepting call centre jobs in Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Laos.
If the job seems too good to be true, then it is most likely that the job is probably fake.
POEAAIR warned about human trafficking and bogus online tech/customer support jobs in Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.
The MWO-Dubai website on Saturday revealed its “MWO-Dubai Advisory No. 3 Series of 2023 Warning on Third-Country Recruitment and Cross-Country Employment Practices.”
The Philippine Embassy-Abu Dhabi website reported that a number of Filipinos in the United Arab Emirates (UAB) have been involved in job scams in Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, and Cambodia.
The platform said…
“The Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Consulate General in Dubai has recently received reports on Filipinos in (the) UAE being recruited by unscrupulous unnamed individuals and ending up being scammed into some Southeast Asian countries. We are looking into these reported incidents, and closely monitoring the situation.
“We have also issued an advisory, warning Filipinos against these recruiters, and to report these activities to the proper authorities, so that the appropriate legal action may be taken.”
On Monday, the Migrant Workers Office-Dubai (MWO-Dubai) disclosed 53 instances of illegal cross-country travel, including a Myanmar citizen who was wrongly identified as a Filipino, as well as four others who were apprehended by Dubai International Airport officials en route to Iraq, where a job embargo is in effect.
With no Myanmar diplomatic or consular office in the UAE, the Philippines extended assistance to the Myanmar national and repatriated her to her home country via Myanmar Airways International in Dubai on Sunday, acting as a fellow Southeast Asian nation.
According to The Gulf Today, seven Filipino domestic helpers were interviewed, five of whom hailed from Mindanao and two from the Visayas. They were deceived into working in the UAE by other Filipino expatriates residing in the country, who promised them higher wages, better working conditions, and other benefits.
Additionally, the Migrant Workers Office-Dubai (MWO-Dubai) reported another case of cross-country labour trafficking bound for Sudan, as revealed by Labour Attache John Rio Bautista.
The seven Filipinas awaiting their return home are Irene Grace Benelayo and Rosamie Bacolod from Hong Kong, Marvelyn Torres, Lowela Baquislay Castil, Cleofe Pequero, and Renelyn Cordero Dayaday from Saudi Arabia, and Marissa Blanca Verzuela from Kuwait.
Five of the victims were lured through Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp with the promise of receiving “cash assistance” of up to 60,000 Philippine pesos (US$1,100 or 37,000 baht) upon arrival in the UAE.
While two of the victims chose to work overseas to gain experience instead of returning home for their annual break, the other five were “sold” multiple times by agents to local recruitment agencies for as much as 116,000 baht. They suffered from various forms of abuse, including maltreatment, overwork, non-payment of wages, and physical abuse, while two were even sexually harassed.
The victims wanted to highlight their plights in the hope that no one else would fall victim to these schemes.
Investigations conducted by MWO-Dubai revealed that some of these agencies are registered with Tadhbeer centres, whose management may be unaware of their involvement in fraudulent activities.
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