Yolanda survivor lands in porn firm

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Monday, February 3, 2014


IN THE aftermath of super typhoon Yolanda, Mandy, 36, was left with no option, but to move out of Tacloban City.

A large part of the area where she grew up turned into a wasteland. Worse, she lost her sister, house and livelihood in the storm surge.

Down and out, she evacuated to Cebu with her family to start anew.

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Emotional baggage was the only thing they had when they arrived, she said.

To get back on their feet, one of her immediate plans was to look for a job. In an online job portal, she found a work in a call center company that fits her—a translator.

Little did Mandy 9not her real name) know, the company was involved in a mail-order bride scheme that offers young Filipino women to foreigners.

“Nakurat na lang gyud ko. Diha ra nako na-picture out ang tanan human gi-raid,” she told Sun.Star Cebu in an interview yesterday.

Mandy was among the 13 agents of Filipino Heart Internet Consultant who were rescued by authorities in a raid last Saturday.

“Ang ako lang gyud kay makakita ug trabaho para mabuhi akong pamilya (I just want to have a job so I can feed my family),” she said. She, her mother and the children of her sister are living at her friend’s house.

Less than a week

Mandy has just been with the company for less than a week. She starts at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 5:30 p.m. like a regular day in the office.

The company, owned by a Chinese national, operated in a house in Banawa, Barangay Guadalupe, Cebu City.

During her work, Mandy said she chatted with men from Western countries and translated if they want to learn Filipino words.

She hasn’t reached yet to a point where she engaged in a sex chat with a client like other agents.

“Kutob ra sa pag-translate lang kung unsa ila gusto. Mostly, hi and hello lang,” she said.

Experience

Mandy worked before in a telecommunications company and is a native of Barangay San Jose, Tacloban City.

During the storm surge, she and her family were able to hold on to a tree, except for her sister.

“Mao importante nako ni nga trabaho kay sa ako nagdepende akong mga pag-umangkon sad nako (That’s why it’s important for me to have a job, since my nieces also depend on me),” she said.

Last November, the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with stakeholders of Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) to prevent trafficking in persons.

IACAT formed the task force because survivors of typhoon Yolanda from Samar, Leyte and northern Cebu are vulnerable to illegal job recruitment and trafficking.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 03, 2014.

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