Jul 27 2015

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Filipinos Offloaded at Manila, Cebu, Clark Airports

Filipinos offloaded at airports are not allowed to travel

Many Filipinos are being reported as being offloaded at airports for often unknown reasons. The word “offloaded” is technically incorrect, as they never get to board the plane in the first place.

What happens is that the Immigration Officer checking their papers on leaving, may request an interview for one of many possible reasons.

This interview may show probable cause for the Immigration Officer to decide that the passenger should not be allowed to travel.

BI Commissioner Siegfred Mison said the Bureau and Inter-Agency Council against Trafficking (IACAT) has come up with a set of clear-cut rules under the Guidelines on Departure Formalities for International Bound Passengers approved by the Department of Justice.

The said Guidelines were formulated by a technical working group pursuant to RA 9208 or the Anti Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003 and is in effect since January 2012.

BI Commissioner Siegfred Mison said: “Offloading is not a policy but a consequence of the implementation of the Guidelines.”

How do people travelling, especially alone, get past this possible problem of being offloaded?

Passengers heading for Dubai, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, are considered transit points accounting for high incidents of human trafficking, and therefore will be more closely targetted.  Maybe choose a different holiday destination?

I was reading a BoI notice to All Philippine Airports etc, and one part said this:

Partners and spouses of foreign nationals intending to depart to meet and/or marry his/her fiance without the CFO Guidance and Counseling Certificate, will be subjected to secondary inspection.

This has caused problems in that past when a BoI officer relied on the wording exactly.
The young lady was going overseas to meet her boyfriend, and therefore came under the above section. However, the CFO did not apply to her as he was not emigrating.

The Young lady did the right thing.
The CFO did the right thing in not giving a CFO stamp to a Tourist
The BoI officer followed the rule correctly, as printed.

No-one was wrong, other than the rules not being specific enough and overlapping in the wrong way.

So… What chance do you have ?

  • Know were you are going, know everything about who and where you are visiting, have ALL the right paperwork. Avoid giving the BoI officer cause for concern about your safety.
  • Have enough funds to support your stay.
  • If you travel with your boyfriend/partner etc., you have a better chance of leaving, even without own funds in a bank account. Even without having a bank account.
  • But nothing is guaranteed.

Some Numbers to put it Offloading in perspective:

According to the Bureau of Immigration, about 40 Filipinos get offloaded at the Manila NAIA Terminal 1 every day for various reasons. That is almost 15,000 each year.

However, over 1 million Filipinos travel overseas each year. That means at least 985,000 of them do NOT get offloaded.

2,700+ are OK to leave each day
40 are offloaded each day

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