Two underage Filipinos who planned to fly to Saudi Arabia for work were stopped from leaving at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in the Philippines.
Immigration officials intercepted the two Filipinas on Wednesday after it was found they had falsified their birthdates on their travel documents. The two Filipinas were heading to Saudi Arabia to work as domestic workers, Manila Bulletin reported.
Bureau of Immigration port operations chief Grifton Medina said officers doubted their ages due to inconsistencies in their answers. Only Filipinos who are aged 23 and above are qualified to do domestic work in the Middle East.
“It was later found that one of them is a minor, as she is only 15 years old while her companion is only 20 years old,” Medina said.
The two Filipinas presented valid passports, employment contracts, overseas employment certificates and working visas to Saudi Arabia, but their dates of birth had been falsified.
Further investigation showed that the younger girl, whose year of birth in her passport is 1994, admitted that she was actually born in 2003 while the other passenger, who claimed she was born in 1994, confessed that her real year of birth was 1998.
BI Commissioner Jaime Morente warned Filipinos not to fall for such scams and go to legitimate recruitment agencies for work overseas. Morente expressed concern as victims were getting younger and younger.
“Minors are more vulnerable to be duped by these syndicates. We reiterate our warning to those who want to work abroad. Do not fall for these illegal schemes,” Morene said.