Filipinos Offloaded at Manila, Cebu, Clark Airports

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.

These Adverts help to pay for this site. ai1

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.

These Adverts help to pay for this site ai8.

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

5 : 1,286 : 3,449,016

AgodaAgoda These Adverts help to pay for this site. ai2
© 2020 ABCDiamond
Hosted at DreamHost
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

How does the BoI square these regulations with Article 13.2 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, i.e., that a person has the right to leave any country, including their own?

This post speaks of “CFO stamp” and “CFO Guidance and Counseling Certificate” as if they are equivalent. They are not.

Things may have changed since 2015. Or maybe they are made more clear now.

CFO has two, quite different, programs to follow (and a few others, beyond the scope of this comment):

For Emigrants, thus the Filipino has no intend to return and may travel on a one-way ticket:
1: Registration with CFO, as an emigrant
2: Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar, as part of this registration
3: The mentioned stamp (sticker actually, according to the CFO website), as proof to show the Filipino has registered.

For other travel, thus for tourist-like purposes, and when applying for a passport for the first time, if the Filipino is in any kind of relationship with a foreigner:
1: Guidance and Counseling Program
2: The mentioned CFO Guidance and Counseling Certificate, as proof the program has been followed.

I exchanged a couple of emails with CFO about this topic. Yes, the certificate is required to travel as a tourist (although BoI does not mention it). Yes, this is even true for unofficial relationships, as boyfriend/girlfriend.

Of course the information on the CFO website is not clear at all. This is after all the Philippines. They make you believe it is only for Filipinos traveling as emigrants, but as the example in this article shows, officially they say something else.
(By the way: I Am Not A Lawyer, my response is based solely on the information I received while investigating this issue, which may or may not be correct).

Are there no reasonable grounds to do a secondary inspection, then the officer will just smile and let you pass. But if there are grounds for a secondary inspection, then the Filipino in whatever kind of relationship with a foreigner, better be able to show the certificate. No certificate, then you are “offloaded”.

In short: can a tourist get a “stamp”: no. Should the tourist present a certificate: yes, when asked during secondary inspection.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x