Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 in Manila, the Philippines. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Two Filipino women were stopped from flying to China after it was suspected that they had been hired by human traffickers to be surrogate mothers there.

Grifton Medina, Bureau of Immigration (BI) Port Operations Division Chief, said that the two women, aged 32 and 38, were former migrant workers. On Thursday, the two women were about to board a flight to Hong Kong when they were intercepted at the departures area of Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3, Philippine News Agency reported.

BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said the two admitted that they were bound for China to become surrogate mothers as they needed money to support their families. The Filipinas said their China visas were to be processed in Hong Kong.

“They immediately confessed during the interview that they were actually bound for China where their services as surrogate mothers were engaged for a fee of PHP300,000 (US$5,806),” Morente said.

BI-Travel Control and Enforcement Unit Chief Erwin Ortañez said the two Filipinas were recruited as surrogate mothers through a website that invites women who are willing to bear a child for others in exchange for a fee. A similar case occurred last year when 32 women were held in Cambodia for being surrogate mothers in an illegal surrogacy ring supplying services for Chinese clients.

“We do not want the Philippines to be the next hub for this ‘womb for rent’ business. It exploits the vulnerability of our women, who, out of poverty and desperation, agree to such arrangements,” Medina said.

The two Filipinas were turned over to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking for further investigation and assistance.

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