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BI saves ‘underage’ workers with falsified paperwork.

At the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1 in Paranaque City on Tuesday, an OFW female who allegedly misrepresented herself was detained.

The victim, who is from Sultan Kudarat, was stopped before she could board a Philippine Airlines trip to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, to work as a household service worker (HSW), according to a statement released by Immigration Commissioner Norman Tansingco on Thursday.

The victim showed a passport and a working visa that verified her age as 24. Officers, however, found that her birth certificate had been altered.

“However, something wasn’t right because of the way she acted. She was younger than her present age,” the BI chief said.

According to our suspicions, she might be younger than 20 years old, and she might even be a minor. This is a clear instance of human trafficking that takes advantage of our children’s vulnerabilities, Tansingco continued.

Current policies require HSWs working in the Middle East to be at least 24 years old.

The immigration officer who processed her passport questioned the validity of the supporting document and sent it to our forensic documents laboratory for a secondary inspection. There, we confirmed that the birth certificate’s year of birth and other information had been changed, according to Tansingco.

He added that the victim could not read or write, which her recruiters may have abused to make her agree to the scheme.

The Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking was tasked with helping her and prosecuting her recruiters.

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