The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Tuesday cautioned the public against several videos on social media encouraging Filipinos to seek employment abroad while holding a tourist visa.
“These videos spread misinformation that might cause aspiring workers to be illegally recruited or trafficked,” BI commissioner Norman Tansingco said in a statement.
He said there are many cases of victims who attempted to travel abroad as tourists in the belief that it would allow them to work abroad without any problems.
“TikTok videos without proper context may cause confusion to the public. Apart from being part of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT), it is the role of the BI to ensure that departing Filipinos are properly documented, based on their actual purpose of travel,” he added.
He said the IACAT is a consortium of different government agencies tasked to combat trafficking and illegal recruitment, in which the BI is a part of as its last line of defense.
The BI chief also warned the traffickers that they can face a maximum jail time of 40 years.
“Those who abuse social media to recruit and traffic Filipinos are being monitored already by local law enforcement agencies. The IACAT is very active in arresting and prosecuting recruiters, so your days are numbered,” he added.
The BI earlier announced that it has launched a TikTok account to counter human trafficking schemes.
Immigration spokesperson Dana Sandoval said this was because scammers now use social media platforms, including TikTok.—Richa Noriega/AOL, GMA Integrated News