PNP chief General Guillermo Eleazar during his visit at Puerto Princesa City. (PN File)

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The Philippine National Police (PNP) has stepped up its campaign against illegal recruiters with the issuance of a memorandum circular to further intensify operations to protect Filipinos against various modus operandi that victimize them in their bid to work abroad.

The memorandum circular recently signed by PNP chief General Guillermo Eleazar activated the PNP Task Force Against Illegal Recruitment (PNP-TFAIR) tasked to “analyze and aggressively initiate police operations against the modus operandi of illegal recruiters in coordination with other law enforcement agencies.”

“On orders of our SILG Eduardo Año, I have signed a Memorandum Circular revitalizing the PNP Task Force Against Illegal Recruitment which directs the CIDG to conduct a crackdown against these unscrupulous persons taking advantage of our kababayan who aspire to work overseas as a means to escape poverty and sufficiently provide for their families,” said Eleazar in a statement Friday.

“Hindi man masyadong napapansin dahil sa pandemya, marami pa ring kababayan natin ang nabibiktima ng mga illegal recruiters na nagre-resulta sa pagkabaon sa utang ng kanilang pamilya at kadalasan pa nga ay nauuwi sa kapahamakan ng ating mga Overseas Filipino Workers,” he added.

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Eleazar further explained that the PNP-TFAIR is also mandated to conduct surveillance and entrapment operations on persons engaging in illegal recruitment that include ‘escort services at international airports and other ports of departure.

It is also expected to come up with a priority target list based on intelligence-gathering, particularly on information that would be obtained from the victims themselves.

“Part of this memorandum is working closely with other government agencies for the protection of our OFWs as our own little way of recognizing their big contribution to the economy over the years,” the Chief PNP said.

Eleazar urged the public to be extra cautious and vigilant in dealing with people as they pursue their intention to work abroad. He also advised victims to immediately report to authorities.

The chief-PNP said there are various ways in checking if the recruiters are legal, one of them is to verify with the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency if the recruitment agency they have been transacting with is a legitimate one or not.

“Panawagan ko sa ating mga kababayan na huwag mag-atubiling dumulog sa PNP kung sila ay may impormasyon sa mga illegal recruiters o ‘di kaya ay biktima ng mga ito. Ang impormasyon na ibibigay ninyo ay isang malaking tulong upang hindi na makapang-biktima ang mga illegal recruiters,” Eleazar said.

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