Hontiveros pushes for revamping of BI officials
Hontiveros pushes for revamping of BI officials
Hontiveros pushes for revamping of BI officials
by Daylight Abas26 January 2023
Photo courtesy: Senate of the Philippines

Due to the human trafficking activities which involve Bureau of Immigration (BI) employees, Senator Risa Hontiveros is now pushing for a total revamp of the officials, as there is a possibility that some of these officials are working hand-in-hand with the Chinese mafia in human trafficking of Filipinos who were forced on cryptocurrency scam.

Based on the testimonies from the rescued victims, Hontiveros said that there are BI employees at the Clark International Airport in Pampanga who escorted and allowed the victims to leave the country without interrogating them.

In a news briefing, the senator said that syndicates might have contacts with the BI employees which served as a way for them to recruit and scam Filipinos.

Moreover, with such illegal activities, Hontiveros suggested that the Immigration Modernization bill must be revisited to improve the efficacy of the BI via salary grade increases and immigration system upgrades.


She said that she already urged a BI overhaul in the wake of the 'pastillas' scam investigation which happened two years ago, however, nothing ever changed after that.

With the high number of trafficked Filipinos who are still in Cambodia and Myanmar, the BI clearly needs some shaping to do and needs to be regrouped and repaired as it is the last line in defending human trafficking.

During the Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations, and Gender Equality hearing, one of the Filipinos who was trafficked in Cambodia mentioned that his Chinese employers coerced him to recruit fellow Filipinos to work for the crypto scam operations.

Alias "Ron" recounted that the recruitment head named Rachel Almendra Luna, has contacts with the immigration officers at the Clark airport.


He also mentioned that recruitment continuously happens on Facebook groups, posting job ads, calling Filipinos to apply for a customer service position in Cambodia, and promising a salary of at least USD600 per month.

According to Ron, his employer had him go through the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration using another company’s name, fake invitation letters, and other papers, which despite these false documents, he was still given an Overseas Employment Certificate.

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