Inter-Agency Team to
assist OFWs who are victims of “laglag bala”
MANILA, Nov. 7 -- Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda
Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday created a DOLE Inter-Agency Team to monitor and
respond on reported cases of overseas Filipino workers who are alleged
victims of the “laglag bala” or “tanim bala” modus operandi in international
“We want to protect our overseas Filipino workers from being victims of the
“tanim-bala” or “laglag bala” scheme. This deplorable modus operandi is
sowing fear among our OFWs who are either going abroad for employment, or
coming home to their families for a vacation,” said Baldoz.
The Inter-Agency Team is composed of Philippine Overseas Employment
Administration (POEA); Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA);
International Labor Affairs Bureau (ILAB); Legal Service (LS); and Labor
Communications Office (LCO).
“The main responsibility of the Inter-Agency team is to assist overseas
Filipino workers who will be apprehended for alleged possession of
ammunitions/bullets,” said Baldoz.
Undersecretary Ciriaco A. Lagunzad III is tasked to lead the DOLE
Inter-Agency Team which will coordinate with concerned government agencies,
such as the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), Office for
Transportation Security (OTS), Philippine Aviation Security Group,
Philippine National Police Aviation Security Group (PNP-AVSEGROUP),
Department of Justice (DOJ), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and
Public Attorney’s Office (PAO).
Baldoz said that if an OFW is apprehended for alleged possession of
ammunition/bullets, the POEA and OWWA shall, through their respective Labor
Assistance Center and Welfare Officers stationed at the airports,
immediately assist the concerned OFW.
The DOLE assistance shall include legal advise; psycho-social counselling;
free communication lines to immediate family, friend, recruitment agency, or
lawyer; and food and accommodation.
The POEA and OWWA shall immediately advise the ILAB of any OFW apprehension
or involvement in the said modus operandi. ILAB, on the other hand, will
communicate with the concerned Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) to
advise the foreign agency or employer on the OFW’s situation and, if
possible, request that the OFW be given reasonable time to thresh-out the
The POEA shall also inform the OFW’s recruitment agency of the incident for
any assistance, such as coordination with the foreign principal/employer and
possible placement to other employer in case the OFWs employment is
forfeited. It shall also issue advisories to recruitment agencies and OFWs
on preventive and precautionary measures to avoid being victims the said
The OWWA shall include in its Pre-departure Orientation Seminars (PDOS) the
consequences of possessing ammunitions/bullets in their departure and
measures on how to avoid being victims of “laglag bala” scheme.
The DOLE Legal Service shall assist Undersecretary Lagunzad in the
inter-agency coordination. It shall also provide legal advice to concerned
OFWs. The LCO, on the other hand, shall ensure that the advisories are well
communicated and disseminated to the media and the public.
Baldoz also said that the OWWA 24/7 Operations Center with contact numbers
551-6641; 833-6992; 551-1560; and 0917 898-6992 shall serve as hotlines for
OFWs on the said matter. (DOLE)