Comment thread for Diosdado Macapagal International Airport, Philippines

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Comments 1 to 4 of 4 in the thread "Immigration Officers, Clark, Philippines" (Diosdado Macapagal International Airport):

Immigration officers in Clark, Philippines are very stiff, that we are known to be friendly people but immigration officers are unlikely to be friendly. Even some are racists, I understand their line 0f job is to make sure that they may let the right people comes in and out of the country but excellent customer service should as well be exhibited with the welcoming attitude even though there will be confrontational circumstances. Filipinos are known to be respectful but not these immigration officers. Apparently, I've been on and off to different airports and most immigration officers are really friendly and helpful.

Have you reported your concern to the Bureau of Immigration's main office in Intramuros, Manila? If not, try to report the incident to the Office of the Commissioner. Those Immigration Officers (IO's) should be stopped from doing the same thing to other travellers originating from Clark Airport. It gives a very negative image of our country and our people. You can access the site of Bureau of Immigration - Philippines to air your concern. Try A/Comm. Roy Almoro.

I would like to report a similar experience. Not about myself but about my sister-in-law. I am Singaporean, while my wife is Filipino. A few months back, my 2 year old daughter was sick and became very demanding as children get when ill. We decided to bring our sister-in-law over to help as I have no other resource here to draw on. We booked the ticket and provided a supporting letter including a contact number. To our surprise the Clark Airbase immigration offloaded my sister-in-law, saying that she will need a letter from the Philippines Embassy in Singapore. The Philippines Embassy here, when contacted, says that the letter, an "Affidavit of Invitation" may be obtained at a cost of S$42.50 (approx US$32), and is still not guarantee that the person will be allowed to leave as the immigration officer "has the final authority".

This is bureaucracy at the Kafkaesque worst. My thoughts (which I raised to the Embassy):

1. If such a document has become necessary, why is the fact not made well known? Instead, many passengers (my sister-in-law witessed, corroborated by accounts here) are turned away at the airport immigration.

2. The rationale, purportedly was to combat "human trafficking". However, when so poorly implemented, surely the ones to suffer are innocent travellers, while the organized human traffickers would have long wised up to the situation and figured out alternatives?

3. The Embassy further states that the procedure is to ensure the traveller is a "bona fide tourist". This is really interesting. So, is my sister-in-law (who eventually managed to come here via the more humane NAIA airport), coming to help us entirely at our expense, a "bona fide tourist"? Exactly what makes a traveller a bona fide tourist?

The entire experience has left me with a terrible impression of Clark Airbase and Philippines Embassy and by inference, the Philippines government. What kind of government prevents its people from travelling? Only totalitarian ones, or perhaps, incompetent ones as well?

In regard of what had happened to your sister-in-law, we feel the same as the same thing happened to my son who´s supposed to fly from Clark Air Base to Macau, my son had previously travelled to Macau two times with out any interrogations from the immigration. He was supposed to fly to Macau last Tuesday to visit his closed friends (which he does during his previous two visit) and to have leisure time as me and my British husband used to fund my son´s trip to macau or wherever he wants to go on holiday. Last Tuesday he was treated like an ignorant by an immigration officer (which he was not able to get the name) he offloaded my son because he said that his last visit to Macau prior to this one was more than 30 days, ( but he did not overstay or work in Macau as we can afford to support his holiday and for his extended stay, he applied for extension as he wants to explore Macau). The immigration officer who interrogate my son was arrogant and the way he talk to my son he makes my son feel so little in front of him, me and my British husband was so furious about this immigration officer as "why" is it a problem if my son extend his previous trip, while, the Immigration Department in Macau has no problem issuing an extension for my sons stay in their country, while this particular immigration officer see´s it as an offence? beside´s if my son or anyone wants to see and visit Macau more than once is that "a violation" of the Immigration Law??? My husband is so furious and he can´t believe that this kind of arrogant manner is happening in the Philippines. This immigration officer should cite what´s the violation on why he offloaded my son from his flight. If he will argue that he was just doing his job, then what kind of manner he should demonstrate in front the Travellers ?, especially to the Filipino´s travelling abroad, at least he can talk on a respectful manner as his position requires dignity as a civil servant. We feel so disgusted with this Immigration Officer as it shows abused of power while we the taxpayer (especially overseas worker) pays his salary. I am furious with the word he spoken to my son which is " alisin mo na ang pagmumukha mo sa harapan ko" the hell with you, who the hell you think you are immigration officer??? you bring shame to our Country, arrogant and disgusting people like you should not hold any position that requires direct contact with the public, you should not work in the civil service sector.

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