Many Filipinos have dreamt of working abroad to support their families. Working abroad brings more promising salaries than working in the Philippines. Because of this, many Filipinos fly to other countries without experiencing the required pre-departure orientation seminar (PDOS).
One of these Filipinos is Annalyn (not her real name), who flew to South Korea after being promised PhP37,000 a month.
Upon arrival at a juicy bar in Dongducheon in Gyeonggi province, she was forced into prostitution, servicing US military personnel.
A juicy bar is a club where owners oblige a nightly quota on the number of drinks each girl should be able to sway her customer to purchase.
Prostitution is illegal in both Philippines and South Korea, yet stories such as Annalyn’s remain widespread.
Philippine Ambassador to South Korea Raul Hernandez said the problem of Filipinas subjected to prostitution is of serious magnitude. Only Filipinos who are issued E-6 visas can enter South Korea as entertainers or work as guest relations officers.
The problem induced Hernandez to get in touch with the Korea Media Rating Board (KMRB), the agency that issues recommendation letters for the entry of foreign entertainers in South Korea.
For January to June 2015, the Embassy’s Labor Office verified 69 individual contracts, though there are 644 Filipino E-6 visa holders. This is because nearly half of Filipino E-6 visa holders are undocumented; have either overstayed or extended their stay in Korea outside the contract period; or have escaped from their employer and have been reported to immigration authorities for the cancellation of their visa. Others may have left the country as tourists.
E-6 workers usually suffer wage exploitation, overwork, and sometimes verbal and physical abuse.
The Embassy tries to get a brief statement about her recruitment, about persons responsible for her deployment, in order to help law enforcement officials build a case against illegal recruiters and human traffickers to prevent the same case from happening to other Filipinas.