Department of Labor and Employment authorities intercepted over 300 sugar migratory workers from Negros Oriental, alleged to have been illegally recruited by a contractor, who were bound for Tarlac late last year, a Philippine Information Agency report said.
Of the total recruits seized at the Dumaguete City seaport, half of them were sent back home due to lack of proper documents that included the more than 40 suspected minors.
This was reported by DOLE officer Sandra Duran, at a Provincial Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking in Persons meeting yesterday.
Duran said the recruits came from the municipalities of Bindoy, Tayasan, Mabinay, Ayungon, and Bais City in Negros Oriental. The rest of the 168 recruits were able to get away as the boat started to move out while the DOLE authorities were still checking some group tickets and documents, Duran said.
However, the Visayan Forum intercepted the group at the Manila port and brought them to its halfway houses for temporary shelter and counseling, the press release said.
VF representative Mayen Pepino said she is requesting her counterparts in Manila to send the list of recruits with corresponding age and addresses so that mayors of the respective concerned municipalities and city can be informed and act on it.
With this situation, PIACAT called on the members to strengthen the network and intensify efforts to disseminate awareness against illegal recruitment and human trafficking in the barangay level, the press release said.*
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