Philippines tightens entry checks for Vietnamese migrants to prevent trafficking

By Philippine Daily Inquirer, VnExpress   August 9, 2016 | 07:52 pm PT
Philippines tightens entry checks for Vietnamese migrants to prevent trafficking
An airport police officer and a sniffer dog patrol Terminal 3 of the Ninoy Aquino International airport in Pasay City, Metro Manila September 1, 2014. Photo by Reuters/Erik De Castro/File photo
Vietnamese travelers better have their stories straight before arriving in the Philippines.

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) of the Philippines has issued an order asking airport personnel to carefully check Vietnamese arrivals after authorities uncovered a human trafficking ring.

Vietnamese travelers who fail to explain their reason for traveling to the Philippines will be forced to return to their country as they could be victims of human trafficking, the Philippine daily Inquirer reported on Tuesday, citing the BI’s lawyer Tonette Bucasas-Mangrobang.

“They [Vietnamese] do not travel in groups but in one or two or three people per flight,” Mangrobang said.

78 Vietnamese nationals who overstayed their visas told local authorities that they had been recruited by a syndicate to work illegally in the Philippines. Prior to that, more than 100 Vietnamese had turned themselves in as they did not have the finances to secure visa extensions.

These people often work as maids, vendors, porters, carpenters and other low-paid jobs. Their salaries range up to only 5,000 pesos ($106) a month. They were sent to various provinces such as Cagayan, Pangasinan, Bataan, Zambales, Batangas and Leyte, according to the report.

The Philippines is not the only country in Southeast Asia to apply strict measures for Vietnamese nationals. In the first six months of 2015, 1,515 Vietnamese passengers traveling on local carrier Vietjet Air were denied entry into Singapore without a clear explanation.

The Immigration and Checkpoint Authority of Singapore (ICA) said it does not allow entry to those who use passports with conflicting personal information for multiple entry. The country will also refuse entry visas to those who get multiple entry visas without a clear reason, or those who enter the country to find work.

Related news:

Vietnamese workers overstay their welcome in S.Korea

Philippines warns of Japan human trafficking risk

Trafficking of Vietnamese women for sex and marriage expands across region: expert

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