BI Urges the Public to Avoid Availing the Services of Fixers
On Wednesday, July 24, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) alerted the people of the nation to be wary of ‘fixers’ and nonaccredited travel agents who peddle their assistance and ‘short-cut’ services in exchange for fees.
The arrest of an alleged fixer by the operatives of the Philippine National Police Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group (PNP IMEG) in Mandaluyong City the day prior prompted a direct statement from BI Commissioner Jaime Morente to address this issue.
According to reports, PNP IMEG officials apprehended a woman named Brigeda Quijano. She allegedly received a sum of P150,000 to aid in the release of a detained German national at the BI detention facility in Taguig City.
“Do not fall into the trap set by fixers, escorts, and facilitators,” said Morente. “We have streamlined our procedures to make it easier for the transacting public. Employing fixers is unnecessary, an added cost, and will most probably get you in trouble.”
Morente directed the same advice towards all prospective Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), as two female victims of ‘escorts’ were recently forbidden from boarding their flights at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). Suspicions arose after officials discovered the illegitimacy of their travel documents to work as domestic helpers in Dubai.
Further inquiry revealed that the victims acquired the fake documents from NAIA employees that they met and transacted with directly through Facebook.
Morente declared that an investigation is now ongoing about the airport personnel involved in the exploitation. He also added that the BI has taken further measures to sanitize and secure the immigration area at the airports.
BI urges the public again to report to the Bureau in the event of witnessing any “illicit or suspicious activities” that violate the immigration laws, rules, and regulations of the Philippines.