IMMIGRATION ISSUES AND
CONCERNS
May 14, 2012, Marlim Mansions Hotel
Guest: Atty. Carlos Capulong
Head, Immigration – DMIA
Sponsor:
Department of Tourism
Region III
• IN GENERAL, FILIPINOS TRAVELING ABROAD
NEED ONLY TO PRESENT THE FOLLOWING
DOCUMENTS:
• Valid passport – at least 6 months;
• Valid Original visa for port of entry( when
required); and
• For tourists, a return ticket. (Memorandum
Order No. MCL – 07 -019 issued on October
24, 2007).
• V. Requirements for Filipino emigrants as
required by the Commission on Filipino
Overseas (CFO).
• They are required to register with the
Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO).
• They are required to attend in the Pre-Departure
Orientation Seminar (PDOS) to prepare them for
settlement overseas.
• The children of emigrants aged 12 years old and
below are exempt from attending the PDOS but
must be registered even by proxy.
• The children of emigrants aged 13 and above are
required to attend the Peer Counseling Program
to help facilitate their adjustment to a new
environment.
DOT PRESS STATEMENT…..
DID YOU KNOW that mere possession of a valid passport
and/or visa is not an absolute assurance of leaving the
country? In many cases, passengers are refused departure
at the Clark airport due to the following reasons: lack of
pre-departure clearance from the Commission on Overseas
Filipinos (CFO) for spouses, fiancé(e)s or partners of foreign
nationals, or absence of evidence of financial capacity to
travel for tourists. In the first case, one must attend a CFO
guidance and counseling seminar, get a certificate of
attendance and CFO sticker prior to departure (lacking in
these requirements means absolute denial by the
immigration officer). How to do this? One has to go to
Manila to attend the seminar at Good Shepherd Convent,
1043 Aurora Blvd., Quezon City, Phone (632) 913-6439 or
Fax (632) 913-6438 E-mail: [email protected]
DOT PRESS STATEMENT….
In the second case, if one is traveling on a tourist visa,
he or she must be ready to present evidence of
financial capacity to travel (some people travel on
tourist visa but end up working if given the right
opportunity). If so, he or she must be ready to present
an authenticated affidavit of support from the person
to visit abroad. Otherwise, one is courting sure denial
at the departure terminal. Examples of evidence of
capacity to travel would include mayor’s permit, bank
certificates, business name certificate, etc. Be ready
with these documents upon demand by the
immigration officer.
CFO SEMINAR
In these seminars, various topics are discussed such
as:
• Travel regulations;
• Immigration procedures;
• Cultural differences;
• Settlement concerns;
• Employment and social security concerns; and
• Rights and obligations of Filipino migrants.
For further details, please visit the website of the
Commission on Filipino Overseas at
http://www.cfo.gov.ph/pdos.htm
WHAT IS THE BASIS OF ALL THIS OFFLOADING?
Pursuant to Republic Act No. 9208, otherwise
known as the “Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act
of 2003”, otherwise known as the “Migrant
Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995”,
the following guidelines, providing for definite
parameters in the strict enforcement of
immigration departure formalities intended
for the prevention of trafficking in persons,
illegal recruitment, and other related offenses,
are hereby promulgated for strict
implementation/compliance by all concerned
• I. TOURIST TRAVELERS
•
A traveler intending to go abroad with a
tourist/temporary visitor’s visa shall be
subjected to:
• 1. Primary Inspection
•
During primary inspection, the following
documents shall be required from a traveler:
• a) Passport
• b) Visa when required
• c) Roundtrip Ticket
• 2. Secondary Inspection
•
2.1 BI shall conduct a secondary inspection, when deemed
necessary, for the purpose of protecting vulnerable victims of
human trafficking and illegal recruitment and other related
offenses, through the assessment of the following circumstances:
• a) Age
• b) Educational attainment
• c) Financial capability to travel
• i. If not financially capable to travel, an authenticated affidavit of
support, indicating therein the relationship within the 4th civil
degree of consanguinity or affinity, together with the supporting
documents, may be entertained; and
• ii. An affidavit of undertaking/ guaranty may likewise be
entertained.
•
2.2 Any passenger/traveler who will be subjected for secondary
inspection shall be required to accomplish the Bureau of
Immigration Border Control Questionnaire (BCQ) to be furnished by
the Immigration Officer.
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
2.3 However, the following shall automatically be subjected to
secondary inspection:
a) Travelers without financial capacity to travel escorted/accompanied by
a foreigner who is not related;
b) Minor traveling alone or unaccompanied by either parent or legal
guardian without the required travel clearance from the Department of
Social Welfare and Development (DSWD);
c) Repatriated irregular workers, in which case, travel may not be allowed
without the clearance from the IACAT (generate data);
d) Partners and spouses of foreign nationals intending to depart to meet
and/or marry his/her fiancé without the CFO Guidance and Counseling
Certificate;
e) Passengers traveling to counties with existing deployment bans, alert
levels and travel advisories and those in possession of a visas to the said
countries; and
f) Passengers who stayed abroad for more than one (1) year during a
previous departure from the country as a tourist/temporary visitor,
intending to depart for the second and/or subsequent time.
2.4 Clarificatory questions may be propounded relating to the abovementioned documents/purpose by the Bureau of Immigration.
2.5 A traveler found to be misrepresenting the purpose of his/her
travel as tourist shall not be cleared for departure.
WHAT PEOPLE SAY
Bottom line - The agents at Clark
cannot use common sense and they
are all on power trips. This
requirement to go to Manila for a
seminar is absolutely ridiculous. They
are not getting married, they are not
OFWs, they are Filipino citizens with
passports. JD
He had gone through Immigration but they held his girlfriend. When the guy
went with her and sat next to her he was told that he could not sit
there. After five minutes or so, she came out and said they refused to let
her fly.
The reasons, one at a time were:
She has nothing to prove she is coming back.
She has no income, how will she pay? American - We have lived together for
five years, I support her, she has money from me, I am responsible for her.
She is from the province, not well educated, you have uniforms, she is scared
and nervous. You give her harsh third degree - what do you expect?
Sorry, she can't go. American - OK, then give me my money back as I am not
going either. Oh Sir, you won't go? No, she is with me and I won't leave
her. THEY FINALLY LET HER GO…
Ronnie, I have read the references and still
feel that the directives are being misinterpreted by the DMIA Immigration officials
who are full of themselves. Filipina citizens
simply going on a holiday either with someone
or by themselves are being abused. IT IS
WRONG! If Noy Noy wanted to take his latest
hot chick Lee to Hong Kong, would she have to
get this certificate? Is it a one time certificate
or must one be obtained for every trip out of
country?
I just had an incident at Clark airport with immigration
yesterday. They refused my girlfriend to travel to hong kong
despite the fact that she was travelling with me and we had
a round trip ticket. The official asked her a bunch of
personal questions about how long we have been dating,
living together, how long have we traveled together before,
how many times. They stamped, signed, and approved her
passport but when I started asking the guy why he asked
her so many personal questions he got mad and said she
was not able to go now and had to do a secondary
screening. She called me 20 minutes later to tell me that
they denied her. Obviously I was angry having just wasted
$450 dollars on the plane tickets and also missing a boxing
match. When I finally got someone to explain what the
rationale was for denying her they said she didn't have a
Commission of Filipinos Overseas document called
Guidance and Counseling.
I just read your interesting article about CIA
immigration. It's a common occurrence. I've had at
least 5 friends whose companions were refused
boarding. They tried it on me once at Manila, but I
pulled my diplomatic ID and they backed off. Anyway,
several years ago, the BI commissioner issued a
directive stating that 'under the Constitution, Filipinos
had "the God given right" to travel abroad, and could
not be stopped if they had a valid passport, were of
legal age and were not traveling to destinations
requiring a visa for entry. I'll try to find my copy of it.
I am wondering if this should not be brought before
the Human Rights Commission. I think they'd have a
field day with it.
Maybe the immigration slogan
should read "It More Fun In The
Philippines, Until You Try To
Leave".
What happens at the guidance and counseling
seminar? BDO offers its bldg for free!
I asked her a little more detail, and she said
the first 45 minutes was a BDO talk on
opening bank accounts and how to transfer
money. They were able to open accounts at
BDO on the spot if they wished. The person
taking the seminar explained that BDO
owned the building and gave it to them rent
free so they were able to sell their products.
After reading about the unconscionable behaviour of
Bureau of Immigration staff at CIA in your May
newsletter, I imagine you’ve failed to grasp the point
behind their conduct. Bureau officials are in fact doing
them a favour. The Bureau of Immigration, at the
behest of the government, are discouraging Filipinas
from traveling overseas because they have no wish to
expose them to well governed countries with a
functioning, polite bureaucracy. Can impressionable
young ladies from the Philippines be expected to cope
with such policies as environmentally friendly cities,
paved roads, functioning and well maintained public
transport systems, honest taxi drivers, an absence of
malice and rudeness in public servants, competence in
government and a lack of corruption? I think not. I
think these young women would be shocked by the
efficiency with which other countries operate.
AFFIDAVIT OF SUPPORT - The immigration
people refused to talk to me just said to check
their web site. As their web site tells you to
gain a affidavit of support from the Philippine
embassy in my country (Australia) and on
checking the embassy has no idea what that
is. Staff at Philippine embassy in Australia
assured me their is no problem as long as she
has the above documents. As for assurance of
support that is "not their job" and they "have
no knowledge of any such document".
BI Staffing - Patently stupid operating
procedure by immigration is the
opening of only two slots – out of
the six – at the immigration counters,
be it at the departure or the arrival
area. It does not take a rocket
scientist to see the hell of a set-up
there given the volume of
passengers using the Clark airport.
Imagine if the world finance leaders
and the ADB Governors will discover
the processing chaos at Clark Airport
which has only two Immigration
officers to serve over 600 air
passengers for the day. That is the
CIA’s black mark.
PROFILING - Two Filipinas with Resort
World-Singapore vowed never to
return via Clark again after their
harrowing experience in the hands of
immigration agents. They claimed
they were subjected to verbal
indignities, mis-profiled by the
agents as commercial sex workers.
The articulate Australian tourist said it
took him an hour and a half to go
through immigration.
On a business trip to China, Ruperto
Cruz, chairman of the Pinoy Gumising Ka
Movement, the prime advocacy group
for the full development of the CIA, was
at the airport past 5 a.m., got stymied at
the immigration counters and barely
managed some banter with newsmen at
the terminal before rushing to his 7:15
flight.
“OUTRAGEOUS DISGRACE!” – Phil.
Daily Inquirer Online
Luciano has surpassed his
expectations of increased travelers
via Clark. He finds it frustrating that
the present Clark airport has lagged
in infrastructure development. His
first priority is to build a world-class
terminal to prepare CIA as the
alternate Philippine gateway, next to
the over-congested NAIA.
STAFFING - There is no plausible reason
for David to find it difficult to augment
his BI plantilla and fill up the required
number of Immigration officers at
various airports in the country. “At BI
Clark alone, some l7 ‘intelligence
operatives’ received remuneration from
whatever source, why can’t the bureau
hire four more personnel to man the BI
counter?”
This was asked by regular air commuters.
The passengers he randomly asked about
their CIA experience were unanimous in
denouncing their sufferance at the
Immigration counter.
RANDOM INSPECTION - However last time i
was in Angeles i heard from a couple of guys
that their girlfriends was refused travel by
immigration in the same situation as me. The
guy was sort of considered some kind of
white slaver by immigration and to "protect"
the girlfriend she was refused permission to
travel outside of Philippines. From what I
understand this is a random sort of thing with
some having no trouble while others are
randomly picked out to be screwed over.
RONNIE TIOTUICO ON PROFILING- This issue on the socalled "off-loading" has been bothering the traveling public.
I wrote Commissioner Libanan about PROFILING.
Commissioner replied by saying that it is absolutely legal
and justified for any BID agent to ban someone from
boarding a plane on suspicion that the subject tourist is
traveling for reasons other than doing a tourist bit or has no
capacity to do so. Under these circumstances, the issue on
human trafficking or prostitution comes to mind. Libanan
said that this practice of Immigration agents is provided for
under the law that created the commission. If in the mind
of BI officer that a passenger is traveling for reason other
than the intended purpose indicated in his/her passport, he
or she can be barred from leaving the country. In short, it's
the law!
Code of conduct of BI Personnel
Rule II
SECTION 1. Bureau personnel shall perform
and discharge their duties with the highest
degree of honesty, morality, excellence,
professionalism, intelligence and skill and
they shall extend prompt, courteous and
adequate service to the public and shall at all
times remain sincere and true to their calling
as public servants.
THAT’S ALL FOLKS!
Thanks for dropping by….