The Bureau of Immigration (BI) defended yesterday the strict screening of Filipinos departing for abroad, saying that it is necessary to prevent the exodus of victims of human trafficking, illegal recruitment and even couriers of illegal drugs.
“They should understand that we are doing this to protect our poor countrymen from being victimized by criminal syndicates who take advantage of their poverty and their desire for greener pastures abroad,” Immigration Commissioner Ricardo David Jr. said in a statement.
David said the BI’s campaign against human trafficking requires the stricter screening of departing Filipino tourists, especially those bound for countries known to be major destinations of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
He added it is only natural for immigration officers to assess the entire circumstances of all Filipino travelers to determine if the departing passenger is indeed a legitimate tourist traveling for pleasure abroad or a worker that would try to find work abroad without work-related documents.
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