By Ferdinand Patinio

Bureau of Immigration spokesperson Dana Sandoval (Screengrab)

MANILA – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Friday warned overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) not to dare use a fake overseas employment certificate (OEC) in leaving the country, as they can easily detect it.

“Mayroon kaming (We have a) joint system with DMW (Department of Migrant Workers), once they pass though the immigration counter, mag-pop up sa screen kung meron ang isang OFW na OEC, kung fake ito, malalaman ng (it will pop up at the screen. If an OFW has an OEC and it is fake, it would be known by the) duty personnel,” BI spokesperson Dana Sandoval said in a Bagong Pilipinas Ngayon briefing.

Sandoval said this joint system immediately verifies the authenticity of documents presented by OFWs.

She also noted that there are also DMW personnel on standby in case there is a need to conduct secondary checking of OFWs.

This came after immigration authorities recently caught two Filipino women who used fake OECs sold online.

“May (There is a) resurgence, sa online binebenta (being sold online), Facebook, TikTok sa mga (on) social media applications. Ang modus nila ipapadala sa e-mail nung (The modus is they will sent it to the e-mail address). They will be asked to print it and show it to the Immigration personnel upon their departure,” she said.

Sandoval, meanwhile, said applying for an OEC is now easy as she advised the public to visit the DMW’s website to check legitimate overseas job openings.

Passengers that have been intercepted for having fake OECs are being referred to the Inter-agency Council Against Trafficking, a consortium of government agencies composed of the Department of Justice, and the Department of Social Welfare and Development among others.

The OEC is a document certifying the regularity of recruitment and documentation of an OFW. It is also known as exit clearance/pass.

The travel document is presented to the immigration officer at the airport of exit in the Philippines. (PNA)