Search this site:

Links

About This Blog
Flight chronicles of the backpacker Tutubi, with travelogues, pictures/photos/videos, travel guides, independent and honest reviews, affordable, recommended resorts and hotels (including inns, guesthouses, pension houses, lodges, hostels, condotels, bed and breakfast and other cheap accommodations), commuting guides, routes (sometimes street maps and GPS coordinates/waypoints) and driving directions to answer "how to get there" questions, information and tips on tourism, budget travel and living in Philippines, Exotic Asia and beyond!

Backpacking, independent travel, and flashpacking are cheaper than the "cheapest package tours" and promotional offers around but you can also use travel information for family vacations, even romantic honeymoon destinations.

More than the usual tourist spots and "places to see," this blog advocates heritage conservation, environmental protection, and history awareness for Filipinos, foreigners, and ex-pats wishing to explore Paradise Philippines and Exotic Asia!
CATEGORIES
Highly Urbanized Cities

  • Angeles City
  • Bacolod City
  • Baguio City
  • Butuan City
  • Caloocan City
  • Cebu City
  • Cagayan de Oro City
  • Davao City
  • Dagupan City
  • Gen. Santos City
  • Iligan City
  • Iloilo City
  • Lapu-lapu City
  • Las Pinas City
  • Lucena City
  • Makati City
  • Malabon City
  • Mandaluyong City
  • Mandaue City
  • Manila City
  • Marikina City
  • Muntinlupa City
  • Olongapo City
  • Paranaque City
  • Pasay City
  • Pasig City
  • Puerto Princesa City
  • Quezon City
  • San Juan City
  • Tagaytay City
  • Taguig City
  • Tacloban City
  • Valenzuela City
  • Zamboanga City

  • Philippine Provinces
  • Abra
  • Agusan Del Norte
  • Agusan Del Sur
  • Aklan
  • Albay
  • Antique
  • Apayao
  • Basilan
  • Bataan
  • Batanes
  • Batangas
  • Benguet
  • Bohol
  • Bukidnon
  • Bulacan
  • Cagayan
  • Camarines Norte
  • Camarines Sur
  • Camiguin
  • Catanduanes
  • Cavite
  • Cebu
  • Compostela Valley
  • Davao Del Norte
  • Davao Del Sur
  • Dinagat Island
  • Eastern Samar
  • Guimaras
  • Ifugao
  • Ilocos Norte
  • Ilocos Sur
  • Kalinga
  • Isabela
  • La Union
  • Laguna
  • Lanao del Norte
  • Lanao del Sur
  • Leyte
  • Maguindanao
  • Marinduque
  • Masbate
  • Misamis Occidental
  • Misamis Oriental
  • Mountain Province
  • Negros Occidental
  • Negros Oriental
  • Northern Samar
  • Nueva Ecija
  • Nueva Vizcaya
  • Occidental Mindoro
  • Oriental Mindoro
  • Palawan
  • Pampanga
  • Pangasinan
  • Quezon
  • Rizal
  • Romblon
  • Samar
  • Saranggani
  • Siquijor
  • Sorsogon
  • South Cotabato
  • Southern Leyte
  • Sulu
  • Surigao Del Norte
  • Surigao Del Sur
  • Tarlac
  • Tawi-tawi
  • Zambales
  • Zamboanga Del Norte
  • Zamboanga Del Sur
  • Zamboanga Sibugay


  • Airlines
  • Airports
  • Architecture
  • Art
  • Beaches
  • Bridges
  • Casinos
  • Caves
  • Churches
  • Delicacies
  • Ferries
  • Festivals
  • Flora and Fauna
  • Golf Courses
  • History
  • Hotels and Resorts
  • Jose Rizal
  • Lighthouses
  • Mosques
  • Museums
  • National Artists
  • National Heroes
  • National Cultural Treasures
  • Parks
  • Public Transportation
  • Restaurants
  • Rivers
  • Seaports
  • Spanish Forts
  • Volcanoes
  • Watchtowers
  • Waterfalls
  • World War II

  • Philippine Tourist Spots
  • Boracay
  • Clark
  • Corregidor
  • Subic
  • Follow/Affiliations

    OFW, POEA OEC (Overseas Exit Clearance), Immigration Officer and NAIA Airport Woes

    This is a rant post, usually posted before the year ends for the Department of Tourism, now it's the turn of Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Bureau of Immigration (BI).

    Tutubi flew to Singapore recently via Philippine Airlines to attend a security seminar at a hotel on Orchard Road, Singapore's premier shopping strip.

    This post details Tutubi's encounter with an immigration officer at NAIA Terminal 2 on December 10, 2012 at around 4am:

    Tutubi arrived early before 4am for his 620am PAL flight. There was no queue yet at the NAIA Terminal 2 entrance gate. He went straight to pay the international travel tax (PhP1620.00) then waited just a few minutes to at the PAL check in counter. This was a breeze since he also doesn't have any check-in baggage, just his 40 liter backpack that's half-full (or half-empty :) then paid the airport terminal fee (PhP550.00, sometimes called airport tax or departure tax).

    The next part was the irritating part where Tutubi queued at counter 6 of Immigration counter, and as he's using a new passport, he asked Tutubi for his old passport but he replied he lost his old one with several stamps of countries he's visited. The expressionless immigration officer asked where he's working, how long, where he's staying in Singapore, Tutubi answered them all, then the officer requested for his company ID to which he obliged.

    The officer looked at his ID for about a minute then returned Tutubi's documents to him without stamping his passport and instead directed him to the "immigration police" at the back where some people are being questioned, calling someone or waiting for something instead of their flight.

    The "immigration police" asked Tutubi the same set of questions earlier asked by the immigration officer to which he gave the same answers. Then the immigration police requested him to show more proof of his trip telling him he needs to show more so as to avoid writing a letter to the commissioner to request permission to leave (even if his flight is just two hours away very early in the morning, imagine the hassle of just trying to prove you're just going to be a tourist and you need to set an appointment with the commissioner) like the other people in the area were doing. He showed the telegraphic transfer of his company to the seminar organizer but the "immigration police" told him it indicated only his company name and purpose (of course it's under his company name), the "immigration police" asked for more information, it's good that he has the hotel confirmation in his name (together with his two office mates who went ahead two days before to explore Singapore) plus the company email trail in his iPhone. The "immigration police" asked him what other countries he's visited and for how long to which he replied: "Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Thailand twice, India and Australia with three weeks the longest" and now brought his passport and immigration card back to counter six where a brief conversation with the immigration officer ensued.

    Tutubi was called again by the immigration officer, sans a smile, sorry, nor apologetic tone for the "false positive," then even had the temerity to berate Tutubi with a grumbling tone but later stamped his passport.

    Tutubi boarded his flight on schedule, the same Philippine Airlines flight with the whole Philippine Azkals team set to play (and lose) against the (now champion) Singapore Lions in the AFC

    Now, this is the problem with the POEA Overseas Employment Administration, the OEC system needs an overhaul and also the people of the DFA, BI, and POEA seem to be conspiring to make life much harder for OFWs and tourists.

    There are reminders at the airport not to harass immigration officers but first and foremost that should be displayed near the immigration counters is for immigration officers not to harass OFW/OCW, tourists and other visitors, after all, they're there to serve, not to make lives of other people miserable

    to the Bureau of Immigration: if you can identify the immigration officer at NAIA terminal 2, December 10, 2012 at counter 6, he doesn't know how to smile even if there are many prominent signs at NAIA that says: We take the extra smile.

    This tale of Tutubi is nothing compared to other OCW/OFW OEC woes and exit clearance processing nightmares. For sure there are gazillions more horror stories of legitimate tourists harassed by immigration officers out there. If an OFW has a very limited vacation time, at least one day will be spent just to request an OEC at POEA offices plus the expenses, additional worry and hassle for those just wishing to be home on a holiday. If Tutubi's an OFW, he'll just opt to pay travel tax and airport terminal fee just to get back the day spent to process/request the OEC at POEA, if it's possible even with just a waiver (at least consider this for stable countries instead of requiring companies to include a repatriation clause in employment contracts).

    the original intent of the OEC is fine but there must be other ways to improve the process, but as always, most government officials don't really care to even take steps to improve it, even enjoy wielding "God-like" powers against overseas foreign workers and ordinary Filipinos whom they should be serving.

    If you're an OFW or a tourist with your own woeful tale, please comment below and share to friends and contacts



    Related Posts:

    How to apply for POEA OEC (Exit clearance) online
    OEC (overseas employment certificate) application requirements

    Labels: ,


    posted by backpacking philippines @ 12:00 PM,

    8 Comments:

    At Jan 5, 2013, 8:59:00 PM, Anonymous bertN said...

    Why is the Bureau of Immigration concern about Pinoy leaving for abroad? The bureau should be more concern about arriving foreign nationals to our shore. I can't understand the logic, if there is any.

     
    At Jan 5, 2013, 11:17:00 PM, Blogger backpacking philippines said...

    bertN, i think the original intent of the Overseas Exit Clearance was to ensure all pinoys working abroad have valid contracts plus the required repatriation clause in case of "acts of nature," war or other disturbances. my brother is an OFW in Japan and he was once not allowed to fly out without this paper (since he must go to Japan to sign his contract) therefore he has no contract to show to POEA and Bureau of Immigration officers. They said what if he needed repatriation, he would go to Philippine officials for help. My brother told me he doesn't need PH government's help, he can come home on his own, besides, Japan is not like tumultuous countries of the middle east and even if it's disaster prone, they know how to protect their citizens and visitors so unlike PH

     
    At Jan 7, 2013, 2:34:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    OWWA/POEA is a typical useless government bureaucracy that is more of a burden than help to OFWs. Imagine how much money they milk by force thru various fees collected from OFWs. Yet, thousands of OFWs are suffering from non-payment of salaries, maltreatment, rapes and other employer abuses and contract violations in foreign countries, particularly in the Middle East, without getting any help from the government. I'm an OFW myself, so I should know. In a few cases they are able to help (and spending POEA funds collected from OFWs themselves in the process) they make big media propaganda about it.
    In Saudi Arabia alone, hundreds of Filipina maids run away from their savage employers regularly. If lucky enough, they are able to go to villas rented by the Phil. Embassy for this purpose. But luck there runs out very soon - they stay there indefinitely, sometimes years, as the Embassy could not send them home for various reasons. Worse, Embassy staff themselves rent them out illegaly as maids again, or even pimp them as prostitutes to rich Saudis.
    My own bad experience: a few years ago when my mother was seriously sick, I had to go home at least 4 times a year to visit her in the hospital. In those 4 times, I had to waste one day out of my few days' vacation, lining up in POEA filling in the same forms and paying the same fees over and over again. Ridiculous is a mild term to describe such hassle. What do they do with all those forms they just thrown in the floor is anybody's guess.
    P-noy should seriously look into this agency, whip and put it in line to do its work properly. Better still, it should be abolished for which OFWs would profusely thank him for. OFWs have taken care of themselves all these years anyway.

     
    At Jan 7, 2013, 2:37:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    OWWA/POEA is a typical useless government bureaucracy that is more of a burden than help to OFWs. Imagine how much money they milk by force thru various fees collected from OFWs. Yet, thousands of OFWs are suffering from non-payment of salaries, maltreatment, rapes and other employer abuses and contract violations in foreign countries, particularly in the Middle East, without getting any help from the government. I'm an OFW myself, so I should know. In a few cases they are able to help (and spending POEA funds collected from OFWs themselves in the process) they make big media propaganda about it.
    In Saudi Arabia alone, hundreds of Filipina maids run away from their savage employers regularly. If lucky enough, they are able to go to villas rented by the Phil. Embassy for this purpose. But luck there runs out very soon - they stay there indefinitely, sometimes years, as the Embassy could not send them home for various reasons. Worse, Embassy staff themselves rent them out illegaly as maids again, or even pimp them as prostitutes to rich Saudis.
    My own bad experience: a few years ago when my mother was seriously sick, I had to go home at least 4 times a year to visit her in the hospital. In those 4 times, I had to waste one day out of my few days' vacation, lining up in POEA filling in the same forms and paying the same fees over and over again. Ridiculous is a mild term to describe such hassle. What do they do with all those forms they just thrown in the floor is anybody's guess.
    P-noy should seriously look into this agency, whip and put it in line to do its work properly. Better still, it should be abolished for which OFWs would profusely thank him for. OFWs have taken care of themselves all these years anyway.

     
    At Jan 8, 2013, 1:12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    OWWA/POEA is a typical useless government bureaucracy that is more of a burden than help to OFWs. Imagine how much money they milk by force thru various fees collected from OFWs. Yet, thousands of OFWs are suffering from non-payment of salaries, maltreatment, rapes and other employer abuses and contract violations in foreign countries, particularly in the Middle East, without getting any help from the government. I'm an OFW myself, so I should know. In a few cases they are able to help (and spending POEA funds collected from OFWs themselves in the process) they make big media propaganda about it.
    In Saudi Arabia alone, hundreds of Filipina maids run away from their savage employers regularly. If lucky enough, they are able to go to villas rented by the Phil. Embassy for this purpose. But luck there runs out very soon - they stay there indefinitely, sometimes years, as the Embassy could not send them home for various reasons. Worse, Embassy staff themselves rent them out illegaly as maids again, or even pimp them as prostitutes to rich Saudis.
    My own bad experience: a few years ago when my mother was seriously sick, I had to go home at least 4 times a year to visit her in the hospital. In those 4 times, I had to waste one day out of my few days' vacation, lining up in POEA filling in the same forms and paying the same fees over and over again. Ridiculous is a mild term to describe such hassle. What do they do with all those forms they just thrown in the floor is anybody's guess.
    P-noy should seriously look into this agency, whip and put it in line to do its work properly. Better still, it should be abolished for which OFWs would profusely thank him for. OFWs have taken care of themselves all these years anyway.

     
    At Jan 9, 2013, 7:40:00 AM, Anonymous Chiefmadapple said...

    I think its because of the unfortunately huge numbers of Filipinos going abroad as tourists and then looking for work, overstaying their visas (tnt). Its a very big problem and so the rest of us who are legit (majority) get harassed.

     
    At Jan 14, 2013, 8:58:00 AM, Blogger Nina said...

    When we didnt have babies yet, I just pay the travel taxes to avoid any OFW transaction. Anyways, my visa is in FAMILY category so technically I'm not an OFW and I really didn't want to deal with that reduced travel tax chorva. But now, that we already have twins we do apply for reduced travel tax and it's just a pain everytime. Last time they were asking for DFA-authenticated birth certificate and marriage certificate even if I brought NSO copy and the original embassy-stamped BC and our orignal NSO MC. I was like - are kidding me? ganun kahirap kunin yong reduced tax benefit na yan. My dad just pay for it because he can refund it but my husband gets an allowance so for us 1650x3...sayand din :)

     
    At Jan 14, 2013, 9:02:00 AM, Blogger Nina said...

    We have another problem everytime we travel with the nanny - She has a namesake, which I dont understand why she has to get cleared everytime because this is supposed to be sorted out everytime she gets an OEC. This goes to show that our agencies aren't talking to each other...

     

    Post a Comment

    If you're not using Blogger or any OpenID, Tutubi recommends selecting Name/URL on the form field below so Tutubi can return your visit (Remember to use http:// in the URL field).

    Please READ before you ASK questions!

    Links to this post:

    Create a Link

    << Home