By Jun Ramirez
Three more underage overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) were intercepted by Bureau of Immigration (BI) officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
BI port operations chief Grifton Medina said the three passengers were apprehended last Sunday at the NAIA terminal 1 as they were about to board a Gulf Air flight to Saudi Arabia.
Their names were not divulged due to a prohibition in the anti-trafficking law against disclosing the identities of victims.
“They all presented passports with false birthdates to make it appear that they meet the age requirement for household service workers which is 23 years and above,” Medina said in his report to BI Commissioner Jaime Morente.
He added the women were turned over to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) for further investigation.
NAIA 1’s BI travel control and enforcement unit head Glenn Ford Comia said that as in the case of the underage OFW who was apprehended last week, the latest victims also presented valid overseas employment certificates, job contracts, and working visas.
He added that two of the women alleged that they are 24 and 25 years of age, when in fact that they are both 22 years old while the other one claimed she is 24 years old but she is actually only 20.
Last March 13, officers of the bureau at the NAIA 1 intercepted a 21-year-old female OFW disguised as a 25-year-old.
The incident prompted Morente to order a stricter screening of all departing OFWs to make sure that they are old and mature enough for overseas job deployment.