5 Tips On How To Stay Safe Before Going Abroad

5 Tips To Stay Safe Before Going Abroad

In the wake of the Mary Jane Veloso case, the fact is that millions of Filipinos leave the country, some for leisure, but mostly for seeking work. This condition leaves us vulnerable to different schemes where we can be taken advantage of. According to news reports such as from Interaksyon, Filipinos’ innate kindness is one of the top factors why illegal recruiters and syndicates choose to prey on Pinoys.

Kindness doesn’t have to be a weakness. Based on advisories by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), we give you 5 tips to stay safe before going abroad.

5 Tips On How To Stay Safe Before Going Abroad

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5. Know the nature and full details of your job before accepting.

If transacting with a recruitment agency, before agreeing to anything, know the full details of your job– NEVER agree to anything that sounds vague, or to empty promises, such as someone will take care of your employment when you reach a certain country. Legal recruitment agencies should have job orders, and should be able to offer you a contract that matches your job description, once you have been placed with an employer.


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4. Be wary of people or recruiters who offer things that sound too good to be true.

Quick processing where you can leave the country shortly? Employment opportunities even on a tourist visa, or with no visa at all? Direct employment without going through the POEA?

If you have heard just some of the lines above, then you are most likely dealing with someone who wants to take advantage of you. Illegal recruiters tend to lure potential victims with dazzling promises of beautiful cars, house-and-lots, and a recruitment process that is just too hassle-free, distracting them from legal and official transactions that should be made.

Ask to receive all promises in writing, and ensure all transactions are made inside the office, NOT outside. Also make sure that the person you are transacting with can provide enough documentation that he or she is affiliated with the agency, such as a valid ID.

Basically, rule of thumb: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.


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3. Placement fees are only paid AFTER you have landed a job placement.

This is something to remember. According to the POEA, placement fees should only be made AFTER a job has been placed for you, meaning if you already have a work contract to sign. NEVER pay any amount immediately or upfront. The ceiling for placement fees is equivalent to one month’s salary.

Also, take note that domestic workers and seafarers DO NOT need to pay placement fees. Countries such as Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, and the Netherlands also do not require placement fees. OFWs also classified under H2B, or lower-skill type category in the United States also do not need to pay.


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2. Always check if your recruiter or recruitment agency is legally registered with the POEA.

A list of licensed recruitment agencies is available at the POEA website (https://www.poea.gov.ph). You can also check for job orders, placement fees, employment contracts, and O.R. with POEA.

You may also reach POEA hotlines at (02) 722-1144/ 722-1155, or visit them at POEA Assistance and Information Center, Blas F. Ople (BFO) Bldg., Ortigas Avenue cor. EDSA Mandaluyong City, to know if the agency you work with underwent the proper processes.

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1. Never accept any offers, requests, or “requirements” to bring or carry luggage that is not yours.

This can happen in a number of ways. Oftentimes, during your trips, you may make a friend who makes a special request to deliver “pasalubong” to loved ones back home in the Philippines. Or, despite how Mace and Anthony started out in “That Thing Called Tadhana”, NEVER accept pleas from strangers to take in one of their luggage if they have “gone over the limit”, supposedly, no matter how “harmless” they may look. It is better to be safe than sorry, as you may never know the danger you may be putting yourself into.

In fact, this may be the most common method Pinoys are duped into bringing illegal substances abroad, which may cost their lives. 


Planning on going abroad? These tips may come in handy for you to keep away from harm.

Did we miss anything? Do you have any other tips to stay safe before leaving for another country? Share them with us.