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Drive vs human trafficking

By: Jun Ramirez

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) said yesterday there will be no letup in its campaign against human trafficking as it reported that more than 43,000 fake Filipino tourists were barred from leaving the country from July 2016 to June this year.

“Our immigration officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and other ports of entry will remain vigilant in screening outbound Filipino travelers to make sure that they do not fall prey to human traffickers and illegal recruiters,” said BI Commissioner Jaime Morente in a statement.

The BI chief issued the statement following the recent release by the US State Department of its 2017 human trafficking report which retained the Philippines under Tier 1 in its ranking of various countries’ efforts to combat the said global menace.

The report on human trafficking cited the Philippines for demonstrating, among others, serious and sustained efforts in identifying more victims through “proactive screening procedures” which is the main responsibility of immigration officers stationed in the different international airports and seaports.

It also cited, among others, the BI for stopping 118 foreign registered sex offenders from entering the country last year.

“We will not relax our guard so long as many of our countrymen are being lured by these syndicates to illegally travel abroad by taking advantage of their poverty,” Morente assured.