THE Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) is strongly warning aspiring overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) against illegal recruitment activities involving Chinese syndicates offering jobs in Myanmar.

In a statement, Migrant Workers Secretary Susan Ople said the public should be cautious against online job offers for Filipinos to work as “customer service relations” or “technical support staff" in Myanmar.

"We are issuing an advisory against online offers for temporary work in Myanmar for Pogo (Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators)-run establishments that are really forced labor and human trafficking hubs in disguise,” Ople said.

The DMW is issuing the advisory on the heels of the rescue of 12 OFWs working at a call center in a remote area in Myanmar from their Chinese handlers.

Citing statements of the rescued OFWs, Ople said they were recruited online via Facebook and were promised a monthly salary of P40,000 for six months of work as data encoders, customer service relations, and technical support staff.

She said they were also made to believe that they would be working in Thailand but ended up at a “techno park” in a remote area in Myanmar that took eight hours to reach by land travel and by foot.

Upon arrival in their place of work, Ople said each victim is assigned to a cubicle and given instructions in Chinese that had to be translated via Google Translate.

They were, then, made to enter dating apps and other social media platforms to search and cultivate relations with potential bitcoin investors.

"They operate and are luring Filipinos to work there with promises of six-month contracts and high salaries. The operations of these Chinese syndicates involved are sleek," said the DMW chief.

"I will not be surprised if there are syndicates also operating in remote areas here in the Philippines," added Ople. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)