The departure hall of Ninoy Aquino Airport in Manila in the Philippines. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Filipino migrant workers have been warned against using illegal travel agencies or tour operators that send undocumented workers abroad.

Jaime Morente, Commissioner of the Bureau of Immigration, said the warning comes after two women were stopped at Ninoy Aquino International Airport. The two Filipinas were allegedly recruited by a travel agency to work in Qatar, Manila Standard reported.

Morente said the Filipinas were instructed by their recruiters to fly to Bangkok before heading to the Middle East to work.

“They were told that upon arrival in Bangkok, they would be given their working visas within 24 hours, after which they could fly to Qatar to work as a waitress and a cashier,” Morente said.

Erwin Ortañez, of Immigration’s Travel Control and Enforcement Unit, said the women were instructed to buy a tour package at a travel agency in Angeles City, Pampanga, and were asked to prepare fake IDs to be presented to immigration officers.

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

Filipinos were reminded that travel agencies are not authorized or licensed to recruit and deploy workers abroad.

Workers should only apply through the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration and licensed recruitment agencies, officials said.

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