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Five workers barred from leaving

Immigration officials have barred five Filipino workers who tried to leave the country for lacking travel documents, an official said Friday.

Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said the five were stopped from departing the Ninoy Aquino International Airport for not having employment visas.

He says the rules require that departing workers must secure employment visas issued by the country where they were destined to work.

He said the possession of a valid overseas employment certificate from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration was not enough to allow a worker to leave if he did not have a working visa.

He said Filipino workers travelling on tourist visas were not permitted to leave under the revised guidelines on departure formalities for international passengers set by the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking.

Earlier, Immigration’s travel control and enforcement unit reported that the five male passengers were intercepted at the NAIA 3 terminal on Nov. 21 before they could board their Emirates flight to Dubai.

The passengers were subjected to secondary inspection after officers noticed that they were all traveling on UAE tourist visas, but were also in possession of valid employment contracts.

They said their recruiters told them that their papers would be converted into working visas upon their arrival in Dubai, provided they tested negative for COVID-19 at the airport.

They also revealed that they were recruited to work as painters and pipe installers.

They were later advised to secure the appropriate employment visas before leaving.

Topics: Jaime Morente , Bureau of Immigration , COVID-19 , Ninoy Aquino International Airport , Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking
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