The Philippine Ambassador to New Zealand has called for better protection of Filipino students in the country. Jesus Domingo said the government’s code of practice for institutions that enroll foreign students had gaps in terms of protecting the students when they are in New Zealand, Radio NZ reported.

Domingo said he wants better protection for the more than 4,000 Filipino students in the country and was asking tertiary institutions to formally declare they will not use dodgy agents to recruit them.

“We have so many complaints of students who have literally hocked the family farm or spent millions in Philippine currency to come here only to find out they were misled,” Domingo said.

The ambassador said some students were lured to New Zealand by being promised they would obtain residency after completing their studies.

“The problem is many students, not just Filipinos, but many who have come here are already here, they’ve already invested a lot and they’re afraid that if they do complain, they may lose whatever chance they have of fulfilling one of the goals of coming here in the first place, education as a bridge to migration,” he said.