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The National Bureau of Investigation-Puerto Princesa District Office warned the public to be on guard against human traffickers.
It is after the agency rescued 52 females last Saturday, December 7 in Puerto Princesa City International Airport bound for Dubai via Hong Kong without necessary permits and clearance from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).
According to NBI Agent Cedric Caabay, those who wish to work abroad should secure proper documents from government agencies such as POEA and OWWA to work legally.
“Nanawagan ako sa lahat na gustong mag trabaho sa ibang bansa, sana sundin ang mga alituntunin ng POEA at OWWA,” Caabay said. The victims applied to become cooks and domestic help but ended up in prostitution, sexual exploitation and forced labor.
Meanwhile, the POEA stated in their website that in order to avoid the illegal recruitment interested citizens should apply at recruitment agencies that are licensed and not deal with licensed agencies without job orders.
Applicants must not pay any placement fee unless they have a valid employment contract and an official receipt. They should not be enticed by ads or brochures requiring them to reply to a Post Office (P.O) Box and to enclose payment for processing of papers and so forth.
In February 6, 2013, President Benigno S. Aquino III approved the Republic Act No. 10364 or The Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012.
This law imposes a penalty of 15 years to life imprisonment and a fine from Five Hundred Thousand pesos (500,000) to not more than five million pesos (5,000,000) to those who will be convicted of human trafficking.