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Discussion in 'Passports and Visas' started by Nutz2U2, Mar 12, 2016.

  1. Nutz2U2

    Nutz2U2 DI Member Showcase Reviewer

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    Tourist claims bribe solicitation in immigration office
    An employee from the Bureau of Immigration supposedly asks for P2,000 to speed up the processing of his exit clearance application


    Published 1:00 PM, March 12, 2016
    Updated 1:00 PM, March 12, 2016
    [​IMG]
    BRIBE. James Canning, the Australian tourist, says the immigration officer took him to a corridor in the building and asked him to discretely give P2000 to speed up his application process.

    MANILA, Philippines – When James Canning, an Australian traveler, found out he had a missing document, he thought he would never be able to leave the Philippines – until an employee of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) asked for a bribe to speed up the process.

    Canning told his story on a blog posted on the bitcoin website BitEdge on March 10.

    Canning, the founder of BitEdge, was on his way to the United States to attend a web development course. Before this, he was in the Philippines as a tourist.

    When he was in the airport for his flight on March 7, officials stopped him and asked for a copy of his exit clearance from the BI. An immigration officer inside the airport told Canning he needed to get the document from the immigration office outside the airport.

    An exit clearance, or Emigration Clearance Certificate (ECC), is a document saying the holder “has no pending obligation with the government of the Philippines.”

    Canning claimed he did not know he needed an exit clearance, although his passport had a stamp saying visitors whose total stay in the country is more than 6 months are required to get an ECC.

    “But who reads their passport?” wrote Canning.

    Canning missed his flight and went to the BI’s main office to get the form. The officer in charge of his line was a certain "Officer Mabasa."

    Mabasa took Canning to one of the building’s corridors and told him to place P2,000 between two pages of the form. This would supposedly help Canning get his clearance more quickly.

    Canning then did as he was instructed. He was able to get his clearance and left the immigration office and the Philippines. He added he had no intention of returning to the country.

    After publishing the story, he shared it on his website’s Twitter and tweeted the BOI’s account, @immigrationPH.

    The BI responded through a Facebook message. They told him to send a sworn affidavit to xinfo@immigration.gov.ph.

    BOI policy

    In April 2015, the BI reminded foreigners to secure an ECC before leaving the country.

    They reported that 33% of travelers who were barred from departing were foreigners who did not have the document.

    Foreigners required to get the ECC are:

    • Holders of Temporary Visitor Visa (tourist visa) who have stayed in the Philippines for 6 months or more
    • Holders of expired or downgraded immigrant or non-immigrant visas
    • Holders of valid immigrant or non-immigrant visas who are leaving for good
    • Philippine-born foreign nationals who will depart from the Philippines for the first time
    • Holders of tourist visa with Order to Leave
    • Seafarers who have stayed in the Philippines for 30 days or more
    Foreign nationals must apply for the ECC at least 72 hours before departure and the forms are valid for one month.

    BI spokesperson Elaine Tan, however, warned against fixers, people who illegally prepare documents or make arrangements for a fee.

    The BI may be reached through their hotlines: +632 524-3824, +632 524-3769, +632 465-2400.

    Concerns may also be sent to their email: xinfo@immigration.gov.ph, immigPH@gmail.com, binoc_immigration@hotmail.com
     
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  2. Dave_Hounddriver

    Dave_Hounddriver DI Forum Patron Highly Rated Poster

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    That, plus posting his story on the Internet, tells me he is a idiot. Know the rules and follow them and be HAPPY if someone offers to expedite you along after you screwed up.
     
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    Nutz2U2

    Nutz2U2 DI Member Showcase Reviewer

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    Hahahah.
    You know the old saying ------ Now there is stupid, and then there is STUPID .....
     
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  4. DGTXPAT

    DGTXPAT DI Junior Member

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    I was at Manila?cebu airport many years back and when I arrived the line was unbelievable. I was running late due to traffic (big surprise) and so i went t0 the officer near the first entry door and explained I was late and needed to get to the front. He looked at me and then said wait here while he went and visited some woman officer near the baggage xray machine. He returned and told me it would be 500 to get to the front and like an idiot i asked US or Phil version. He said USD and i laughed and said that was too much. After some further humor he agreed to take 500 Pesos and told me to give it the woman officer he had spoke to. So i shuffled up to the woman with my bags and had the 500 Pesos ready to hand to her. She shook her head at me to discourage my generous donation and my guess is her supervisor may have been watching. I ended up getting in without making my tax free donation :smile:
    The Philippines is loaded with many unusual things ....you gotta love it or leave it!
     
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  5. robert k

    robert k DI Forum Patron Highly Rated Poster Veteran Army

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    The thing is, the 2k php probably didn't speed anything up. Yes he is an idiot. In the Duma BI they did a good job of telling exveryone that you needed exit clearance if you were in the country more than 6 months. That if it were more than 6 months but less than a year you could do it in Duma, over one year you had to do it in Cebu or Manila (at that time have no idea now). I got my clearance in Duma and they stapled the tiny slip of paper in my passport with my clearance number and when I got to Manila they couldn't find it in the loose documents I handed them and they didn't look closely at my passport. I nearly missed my flight out so it might be worth bringing the tiny slip of paper with your clearance number to them (if Duma BI still staples them in the passport). Like the guy mentioned in the blog, people don't read their passport, immigration won't necessarily read your passport either.
     
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  6. Dave_Hounddriver

    Dave_Hounddriver DI Forum Patron Highly Rated Poster

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    I respectfully suggest it sped up his interest in learning the rules on ECC's :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
     
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  7. robert k

    robert k DI Forum Patron Highly Rated Poster Veteran Army

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    Dave, he says he is never coming back. He never read his passport before and I doubt he will in the future either. He sounds fairly proud of his ignorance!
     
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  8. Rye83

    Rye83 with pastrami Admin Secured Account Highly Rated Poster SC Connoisseur Veteran Army

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    Just read through the comments on his blog. I hope he never does return. Complete idiot.
     
  9. charlyB

    charlyB DI Senior Member

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    Is this the only country that has this ECC type of requirement ?
    All the places i have been it's getting in that takes a bit of effort but leaving is no problem.
    This seems to be Philippines paper wasting, time wasting, job creation, make money from long nose type crap at it's worst.
    Just say there was a family emergency, someone in the homeland on deathbed type stuff, at least 72 hours before you can leave.....
    Who could have thought this up :asshat: :poop:
     
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  10. Rye83

    Rye83 with pastrami Admin Secured Account Highly Rated Poster SC Connoisseur Veteran Army

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    The risks of living overseas. The Philippines wants to make sure you aren't wanted for any crimes or have any hold orders on you. The government here is worthless and they just learned what computers were a couple years ago (see all the boxes stacked up in the immigration office.....that's what the Philippine Government called a "hard-drive" a couple years ago :rolleyes:). It is the responsibility of the tourist/expat to know the immigration laws of the country they are moving to. If you don't like the visa laws of a country you don't have to go there. :wink:

    Note: the Philippines has some of the most generous and relaxed visa options in all of Asia (or anywhere else in the world). Sh*t, at some airports in China I can't even transfer to a different terminal without them inspecting my passport and asking me questions like I'm some sort of criminal before they will stamp my passport and let me get to my flight. That's just for transferring to a different terminal that is in the same freakin' building at the airport. I might be wrong, but I highly doubt they would just let me fly there one day and stay on a tourist visa for 3 years.

    Could you image a non-American saying to their buddy, "Hey, I think I'm going to go on vacation to the US tomorrow. See ya in a year.....or three. Later!" Then they go.....and when they arrive in the US an immigration officer welcomes them to the US with a big smile and stamps their passport no questions asked? :meh: Not a chance in hell the US is going to allow that.....but it's what pretty much what anyone can do coming to the Philippines.
     
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