MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration on Saturday warned aspiring overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to avoid recruiters who require them to leave for abroad through the country’s “southern backdoor.”
POEA administrator Hands Cacdac said the exit points in the south were the favorite routes used by human traffickers to smuggle out their victims.
“From the southernmost parts of Mindanao and Palawan, traveling by sea to Malaysia is the more convenient way for a human trafficker to move its victims to their final country of destination,” Cacdac said.
He said workers who use the “southern backdoor” usually end up either stranded and without work in a foreign country, or are forced to accept low-paying household jobs, or as farm hands in remote plantations, or in establishments used as front for prostitution.
Cacdac said human traffickers use these southern exit points to deploy workers without proper work documents to countries such as Malaysia, South Korea, China, Morocco, Lebanon, Syria and other Middle East countries.
Recently, the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Kuala Lumpur reported that five Filipino women were being held in a night club in Malaysia controlled by a large syndicate involved in human trafficking for prostitution, Cacdac said.
The syndicate reportedly transported the victims through the Zamboanga-Sandakan-Kota Kinabalu-Johor Bahru route, he added.