Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Norman Tansingco issued a warning against fake overseas employment certificates (OECs) available online.
Tansingco issued the warning after officers intercepted a new batch of departing Filipinos presenting counterfeit OECs.
The BI's Travel Control and Enforcement Unit (TCEU) reported the interception of three victims on Tuesday, after attempting to depart for Warsaw, Poland on board an Air China flight at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1.
The victims, one female and two males, all in their 30s, shared that they were recruited online and mainly conversed to their recruiter via messenger. They each paid around Php 70,000 for the recruitment and their ticket, and paid an additional Php 7,000 allegedly for expeditious processing of their OECs.
They allegedly received their OECs via email.
Primary inspector April Omlang referred the matter to TCEU members Edward Supan and Ferdinand Villanueva, who were able to confirm that the OECs were indeed fake.
Another incident was recorded at the Clark International Airport (CIA), where officers intercepted a male victim after presenting a counterfeit oec.
The victim, who is 28 years old, attempted to depart to Dubai last May 28 on board an Emirates Airlines flight. He claimed to be working there as a personnel manager for a service provider and presented documents stating the same.
BI warns fake OECs available online
However, the BI's centralized system detected discrepancies in his OEC, and the matter was referred to Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) personnel on duty.
Primary inspector officer Christine Salvador referred the matter to TCEU Member Marc Danes Diego.
DMW records confirmed that the OEC presented by the victim was indeed counterfeit. The victim eventually admitted that he was able to secure his fake OEC online and paid P7,000 for it.
Earlier in May, the BI reported intercepting another two female victims also bound for Poland at the NAIA Terminal 1 for possessing counterfeit OECs they had acquired through Facebook. The victims then said that they each paid Php 500 to a fixer online for the fake document.
“Our system is integrated with the DMW's database, hence it is very easy for us to verify legitimate OECs,” said Tansingco. “Using these fake certificates will no longer work,” he warned.
The victim was referred to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) for investigation and filing of appropriate charges against the scammers.