Three Underage OFWs Advised to Wear Dark Lipstick to Conceal Age Intercepted at Clark Airport

CLARK FREEPORT ZONE, Pampanga—Bureau of Immigration (BI) officers at the Clark International Airport (CIA) intercepted 3 Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) for misrepresenting their age.

According to BI Commissioner Jaime Morente, the trio, all females hailing from Cotabato, attempted to depart for Doha, Qatar to work as household service workers when they were intercepted last June 13.

A report from Travel Control and Enforcement Unit (TCEU) officer Pedro Reynaldo III showed that the 3 were referred by primary inspection officers after they doubted their age.

Upon inspection, all claimed to be 28 or 29 years old, and presented documentation showing their assumed age. However, during the interview, the TCEU reported that the trio gave numerous inconsistent statements about their personal details.

“The later confirmed that they misrepresented their age to be able to work as household service workers abroad,” said Morente. “They admitted that they are only in their early 20s, and were given instructions by their recruiter to wear dark lipstick to make themselves appear older than they really are,” he added.

“They were told by their recruiter not to fall in line with older passengers so as not to stand out, and were instructed to never admit their real age,” said Morente. “This is a clear case of human trafficking wherein unscrupulous individuals would victimize young women for personal gain,” he added.

The three were referred to the CIA Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) for further investigation and assistance in filing charges against their recruiters.

“I pray that the cases against these illegal recruiters push through, so that we finally put a stop to this societal evil from its roots, and put behind bars those who victimize young women aspiring to work abroad,” said Morente.

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