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Bureau of Immigration (BI) tightens screening of Pinoys heading to Japan.

MANILA – In order to combat human trafficking, Bureau of Immigration (BI) inspectors stationed at international airports have been instructed to thoroughly examine Filipinos traveling to Japan.

Commissioner Jaime Morente instructed immigration inspectors in the ports of exit to “observe due attentiveness” to Filipino passengers bound for the country, particularly those with visas for intra-company transferee, short-term visitors, student, and engineer specialists in humanities and international services, according to a memorandum issued on Thursday.

This arose after the BI received information that unscrupulous recruiters were using visas to get around government laws regarding the verification and deployment of Filipino workers in Japan.

In a statement, Morente stated, “This rising tendency exposes these tourists to the hazards of human trafficking and illicit recruiting, which the BI is mandated to protect.”

According to Morente, the strategy is being used to make it look that the Filipino travelers’ objective is exempt from obtaining an overseas employment certificate (OEC).

He went on to say that by utilizing these visas, people are indicating that they are merely visiting and staying in Japan for a short time, despite their true goal of working in the East Asian country.

Meanwhile, BI port operations chief Carlos Capulong said that all immigration inspectors deployed to various ports have been told to be more thorough in their screening of these travelers.

“We’ve told them that if a passenger’s declared purpose of travel is in doubt, the passenger should be directed to our travel control and enforcement unit for a secondary check,” he said.

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