MANILA – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Tuesday underscored the importance of thorough inspection in preventing Filipinos from being human trafficking victims.

In a statement, BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco said the BI’s series of inquiries, particularly on its secondary inspection, help them uncover possible human trafficking schemes.

“Our immigration officers play a crucial role in preventing these illegal activities at our airports. Their dedication and thoroughness in identifying potential victims are key in our fight against human trafficking,” he said.

Tansingco made the statement following another report of an online recruitment wherein a 49-year-old Amsterdam-bound Filipina has been reportedly urged to come up with false departure claims.

The interception happened at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 last July 4.

“During secondary inspection, the victim claimed to be a businesswoman on vacation to Amsterdam. She presented various business documents in an attempt to support her claim,” the BI said.

An immigration interview further resulted in the victim’s disclosure that she paid around PHP148,000 for her ticket and fake documents as a businesswoman.

To date, the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking initiated assistance to the victim to file possible charges against her employer.

Meanwhile, Tansingco maintained a stance to pursue stringent measures to ensure the protection of Filipino travelers amid complaints about long immigration queues and lengthy inspection procedures.

“We remain steadfast in our commitment to combat human trafficking and protect the rights and welfare of individuals who may fall victim to these illegal activities,” he said.

The BI earlier confirmed NAIA’s commitment to expanding immigration areas to address challenges in queues. (PNA)