Updated information pertaining to the harassment of Filipina tourists wanting to exit the country from the DMIA. The actions of the Immigration officials at the DMIA are beginning to draw the attention of various government agencies. We hope that anyone who has been denied travel out of the DMIA because of profiling please provide the dates and details to Harry the Horse. The following was provided by the Regional Director of Tourism, Central Luzon.
Harry, Upon interview with a BID immigration officer and based on my research work (www.dfa.gov.ph and cfo.gov.ph), here is one particular provision in the immigration law that subjects Filipino tourists / temporary visitor's visa to PRIMARY and SECONDARY inspection. The conduct of secondary inspection makes it difficult for Filipino tourists (especially women) to clear immigration lines. The reason? It's Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003. Please take note of the provisions on "partners or spouses / fiancees" meeting their spouse abroad" (CFO clearance) and "tourists / temporary visitors" (capacity to travel / affidavit of support).
Here it is:
GUIDELINES ON DEPARTURE FORMALITIES FOR INTERNATIONAL-BOUND PASSENGERS IN ALL AIRPORTS AND SEAPORTS IN THE COUNTRY
Pursuant to Republic Act No. 9208, otherwise known as the “Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003”, and its Implementing Rules and Regulations, Republic Act No. 8042, otherwise known as the “Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995”, as amended by Republic Act No. 10022 and other related laws, 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 The Bureau of Immigration shall conduct a secondary inspection of a traveler, 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 above-mentioned 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.
Ronaldo "Ronnie" Tiotuico
Department of Tourism - Central Luzon
Paskuhan Village, City of San Fernando, Pampanga, Philippines
Based on the reporting of Jim D, the issue on profiling / offloading by the Bureau of Immigration is beginning to be a pain in the neck. The same issue will have an adverse impact on your operation as travel agents. Imagine a tour operator issuing tickets to passengers only to find out they are offloaded at the airport under the pretext of protecting the rights of women against human rights violations(human trafficking, abuse, etc).
Under the law, all contract workers are to show overseas employment certificate from POEA. BUT if an individual is on a VISIT or FIANCEE / DEPENDENT / SPOUSE status (or training, foreign residence, student and business), he or she is required to register with the Commission on Filipino Overseas and attend a 2-hour pre-departure orientation seminar.
And so, I have decided to call a meeting of key members of PATS and ATTAP on May 14, 2012, 4:00 p.m. at Marlim Mansions Hotel (coffee shop) to thresh out these issues on profiling and offloading. May I advise the two presidents (Prica and Gilda) to advise their members to come to the meeting. I will try to invite the Immigration officer in Clark to this meeting.
Ronaldo "Ronnie" Tiotuico