More than 100 underaged Filipino girls have attempted to leave the Philippines and work abroad by using fake identities and travel documents.
The Philippines prohibits citizens under the age of 23 from becoming domestic workers outside the country. But according to the Bureau of Immigration (BI), a total of 114 underage girls have tried to leave the Philippines to work overseas in the past two months, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported.
Marc Red Mariñas, acting immigration deputy and commissioner and Port Operations Division chief, said that in June, 67 people were barred from leaving the Philippines after they confessed that they were underage.
Maciñas said that when the apprehended travelers were asked to present their travel documents, they had valid overseas-employment permits, work visas and job contracts. Their passports showed that they were adults, but they confessed that they were in fact not of legal age.
“It is evident that these young women were victimized by syndicates that specialize in the procurement of documents to make it appear that they are old enough to work abroad,” Maciñas said.
According to the BI, four girls were apprehended at Metro Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport for trying to leave for Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on August 2. The girls’ passports indicated that they were in their late 20s but they admitted that they were under 21 years old.