The Philippine Bureau of Immigration has collected an array of inquiries and criticism regarding their supposed “offloading policy” March of last year. This issue made headline especially when a rumor spread about several bureau officers asking for financial documents from the travelers. The Philippine Bureau of Immigration Commissioner Siegfred Mison promptly clarified the matter in a press release on their website, stating that “Offloading is not a policy but a consequence of the implementation of the Guidelines (of the Bureau).” These aptly called Guidelines on Departure Formalities for International Bound Passengers were approved by the country’s Department of Justice, with pursuant to the state’s Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003 (RA 9208).
The Philippine economy was estimated to have garnered a $289.686 billion nominal revenue last 2014, with the service sector accounting for 30% of the weight. Although the current trend is leading the archipelagic state into an industrial era and the emergence of technology and outsourcing jobs, the greater fiscal returns are still referenced to the exported manpower sector, the overseas Filipino workers. With the demand of Filipino international workers for its economy, comes the deleterious aspect of its procurement and processing. The recent Mary Jane Veloso drug trafficking case is one of the many scenarios on why the Bureau of Immigration sustains their mandate sternly.
In our part here at JuanMacau, we believe in the rightful due process of transacting with government documents and bureaucratic practices (in this case, with that of the Philippine Bureau of Immigration). The following are merely supplementary cues of the otherwise reiterated guidelines:
1. Be sure to provide the essential documents. These are obligated, first and foremost, to secure your own safety. These legal papers are required to ensure the validity of your travel and to fittingly document your status as an overseas worker.
2. Be coherent and consistent with all your interviews. Be honest and consistent with the dialogues that you make and bear a calm tone. One reason why several travelers are not permitted to leave the country is because of how disjointed and unfounded their responses are to several immigration officers.
3. For tourists, bring documents proving of your trip as a tourist per se. The common documents would be in the form of a hotel reservation, a round trip ticket, a booking detail, and the like. This is to check if you are financially capable for the trip and consequently serves as a fail-safe for the Bureau to ascertain that you will not be looking for a job when you are there.