Saturday, March 25, 2006

More than a hundred Filipinos work illegally in South Korea

First posted 07:37pm (Mla time)
Mar 24, 2006 By Veronica Uy

AS MUCH as 70 percent of the 200 or so Filipino overseas performing artists who left for the booming entertainment industry in South Korea are undocumented, a labor official who requested anonymity said Friday.

They flew to Busan and Seoul via the so-called escort service illegally provided by some employees at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in exchange for 300 dollars, the official said.

He said singers, musicians, and dancers who leave the country this way sidestep the Labor Assistance Centers of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration at the Manila airport terminals.

A foreign affairs official confirmed the increase in the incidence of illegal recruitment since the one-year mandate of former police captain Reynaldo Jaylo's task force on illegal recruitment ended in June last year.The labor official warned Filipino workers against going to Korea without proper travel documents. He said they would be vulnerable to abuse by unscrupulous nightclub
operators, citing cases where even the passports of OFWs were confiscated.

For the past three years, OFW deployment to South Korea has been increasing steadily at an average rate of 20 percent: 7,136 in 2003, 8,392 in 2004, and 9,970 in 2005.

There are about 40,000 documented and undocumented Filipinos in South Korea.

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