Caveman’s Rant About Philippines Immigration
I read Caveman's post and took interest with what he had to say about the Immigration restrictions concerning Filipinos leaving their country.
There are reasons, as I know about them as I have experienced them myself as my girlfriend is a Filipina and her brother and other relatives, have, over the years, exited the country with great difficulty also…not only 18-year old girls.
Long story short:
The reasons are because of so many Filipinos leaving the country in the past and many more presently and the problems they encounter when they are outside their country such as being stranded with no money and no employment or place to live and they end up coming to their embassies asking for help – and not just a few – enough that the host countries are telling the Philippines government they may not allow any more Filipinos or remove all the ones that are there. Just a threat of course, but basically telling the Philippines government to control it at their end before they even leave.
Many countries where the Filipinos have gone to work have asked the government of the Philippines to "screen" the citizens before they leave the country so as to determine why they are travelling. Vacation or work? And make sure they do not end up a statistic and / or causing any grief at all for their host country and / or the embassies in various countries where many Filipinos go to work…or try to go to work there and end up in need of help.
Of course it has become a bureaucracy and makes money for the government and corrupt immigration officials and all the employment agencies that arrange all the overseas work for exorbitant "placement fees" and all the payoffs to the immigration officials to fast track people who paid the price to get fast tracked and leave the country for legitimate overseas employment and / or supposedly legitimate employment.
Meantime the passport sector has no restrictions for obtaining a passport and they give out passports all day long but they never tell the new passport holders the immigration requirements to leave the country and all too many people buy an air ticket (while the airlines also never tell you about the immigration requirements, and you can surmise why) while people go to the airports (any international connection airport out of the Philippines) to find out they need several pieces of legitimate documentation to legally satisfy the immigration authorities, even if they are only going for a 1 day trip to say Hong Kong. They are all suspected of leaving the country for working purposes and suspected of lying as to why they are "really" leaving the country and if that is the case you are supposed to go through one of the many government recognized and authorized employment agencies that charge a hefty price of course that includes the payoffs to the immigration authorities to fast track you through immigration with no questions. That is after you present the proper documents that confirm you are using one of the authorized employment agents or authorized connections that have payoff arrangements with immigration officials.
Meantime all others are made to obtain "this document" and "that document" and "more documents" to satisfy the immigration officials so they can cover their asses and say, "Hey, we did our job correctly while the records show we did our job correctly." That and generally assert their authority over citizens of lesser status than them and let them know who is in control.
My girlfriend's brother was turned down 2 times and the 3rd time passed immigration to come to Thailand but we were required to go to the Philippines embassy in Bangkok and sign affidavits (red seal stamped and verified by the Philippines embassy for 800 baht) and present our passports and letters of guarantee and proof of our relationship (his sister's relationship with me and how and why we know one another and his relationship with me and how does he know me) and copies of the girlfriend's work permit and her contractual letter of employment and confirmation of their mother being the same blood as the both of them and the mother's birth certificate and citizenship and my sworn testament that I was not his employer and proof of my retirement visa and proof of my residence here in Bangkok.
He traveled form Ozamis city in Mindanao to Manila and was turned down the first time because he did not have the above mentioned documents and because they pointed out that the airline he was using to travel from Manila to Bangkok was not the same as the airline being used to travel back from Bangkok to Manila which they pointed out and said: Nope you have to have the same airline going and coming back and have confirmation so they phoned the airlines to find out the return portion was without a confirmation date and grilled him like he was a criminal. And he is a Philippines National Police (PNP ) officer himself!
He told us all 3 immigration officers were young, very young (2 girls and 1 gay boy) and they asked him a long list of irrelevant questions such as, "Are you married and where is your wife and do you have children and where are your children and why is your wife and your children not traveling with you and why did you purchase the air ticket from Bangkok and not in the Philippines (My girlfriend arranged the ticket with her ticketing agent from here in Bangkok) and basically tried to trip him up and catch him out doing something illegal such as going to Thailand for a job but saying your just going there for a short 2 week trip to visit his sister who lives there for the last 3 years.
And that of course created another barrage of trick questions – When did your sister leave the Philippines and why and on what terms and how long has she being working and when did she last come back to the Philippines and how much money does she make and what does she do there and how does she know this Canadian guy and why and for how long and how do "you" know this man that you say your going to stay with in Bangkok who lives with your sister and why and what does he do and what kind of work or business and on and on and then after trying to answer all the questions. Nope, you can not leave so go away now.
He was on the phone talking to his sister and talking to me a little also and I said, Find out exactly what kind of documentation they require and when he asked them they just ignored him while he politely requested several times to know what other requirements and or documents were needed for him to pass immigration the next time he came back.
The second time he showed up about 2 weeks later they told him he needed to have more proof and that he needed 3 more pieces of documentation. So he went all the way back to Ozamis city, again, all frustrated and angry of course. That 2nd time the immigration women was more cooperative and wrote down a list of documents that he "had" to present to pass immigration
In Bangkok we arranged everything he needed from us on this end and sent it by Fed Ex to Ozamis and while he obtained everything he could get on his end and on the third time he passed through. That was all over a 1½ month period. A major ordeal.
Anyhow that is the way it is concerning immigration and the results of all too many Philippines going overseas and creating numerous immigration issues over the last 30 years. Now the Philippines government tries to control it in the Philippines.
Bureaucracy gone mad!