DAVAO CITY (PNA) --
The Mindanao Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA)
office here has issued a stern warning to those
attempting to find jobs abroad by using 'visit visas"
issued to them by DFA passport offices in Mindanao and
other parts of the country.
DFA-Mindanao head Asst.
Secretary Walter Salmingo issued a statement to
strongly "advise" those looking for work overseas "not
to leave using a visit visa" but instead exert effort
to have an employment visa before leaving by dealing
only with recruitment agencies accredited with POEA
(Philippine Overseas Employment Administration).
Salmingo said "to avoid
spending so much only to be exposed to harassment,
extortion, abuse, substandard wages and working
conditions, imprisonment and deportation, leave with
an employment visa with a job contract attested by
He stressed that by doing
so, it "will save OFW from much grief and heartache,"
pointing out that a "visit visa is not a guarantee
that you will find work in your country of
destination, particularly in Abu Dhabi or Dubai."
The DFA-Mindanao chief's
statement bolstered the warning earlier aired by the
Philippine Emassy in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
(UAE), which reported an alarming increase in the
number of Filipinos who arrived in UAE on visit visas
and were victimized by fixers and illegal job
Philippine Ambassador to
the UAE Libran Cabactulan revealed that fixers charge
as much as P100,000 in exchange for a visit visa and
promise of a job upon arrival in the UAE and other
points in the Middle East.
The Ambassador further
bared that in many cases, the promise of a job "does
not materialize and the poor job-seeker is left with
the option of either returning to the Philippines
empty-handed or looking for work on his or her own
before the visit visa expires in a month or two."
According to the
UAE-based envoy, some companies "exploit the situation
and offer only menial jobs and wages much lower than
other expatriate workers who arrive armed with
Unfortunately, he pointed
out, "the most vulnerable are some Filipino women who
are exploited and forced into prostitution." Many
among these victims found out too late that their
visit visa was not changed to employment or residence
He further bared that
"this results in hefty immigration fines for
overstaying," while in other cases Filipinos find
themselves "stranded" in Kish island in Iran where
they are required to exit or made to wait for
employment visas promised by prospective employers,
further adding to their desperation.