Why Is Philippine Immigration Holding Shane?

A fortnight ago, before I left.  All smiles.

Shane, my girlfriend went to Manila airport this morning, and despite having a full visa in her passport, she was stopped from going on board the flight.  How come?

This, she was told, was because she didn’t have a copy of my Philippine Residence Visa, which is not normally a requirement for someone departing – to have someone else’s papers.  And because not unnaturally she wasn’t carrying my ID details, they wouldn’t allow her to board her plane.

I don’t profess to know all about internal Filipino procedures, but how can airlines like KLM operate when even a valid UK entry visa is not sufficient to get past immigration in the country of departure?

From here in the UK, it all seems highly bizarre.  I would be worried about the reputation of a country that doesn’t appear to operate a sensible system of document processing.  Maybe I’m wrong.  She will try and board another flight tomorrow.  Maybe an Immigration Official made a mistake.  I do hope so.  She will appear at the airport with all the requested documentation tomorrow morning and try again.

The Immigration Official who refused Shane’s entry to the flight is called ‘redacted on request’.  We are not saying corruption is relevant in our case, though we know of other cases where £800 was paid to get a wife the right to leave the country, whose exit was entirely legal in all other respects.  It sounds like a situation in need of a bit of attention.
The Tap Blog is a collective of like-minded researchers and writers who’ve joined forces to distribute information and voice opinions avoided by the world’s media.

18 Responses to “Why Is Philippine Immigration Holding Shane?”

  1. Stuart Fairney says:

    Quite extraordinary behaviour really. I had a similar thing trying to get a visa myself for a middle eastern country, only to discover the problems vanished when I handed over £250 in cash. My sympathies.

  2. Tapestry says:

    Thanks for the happy thought, Stuart. And I was foolish enough to think the world might just for once be improving.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Must be very frustrating for you. Hopefully you/she won’t have to pay for another flight. I take it that this is the first time she has left the Philippines? Please keep us all informed. I have a wife who is currently in the Philippines on an extended holiday. She has dual citizenship and both a UK and Philippine passport, so I don’t expect these shenanigans to apply in her case. Best of luck.
    fr. Kevin

  4. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the Beauty and the Beast pic 🙂

  5. Tapestry says:

    Cheers, Kevin. I’ll post again tomorrow. Yes it’s first departure.

    Beauty and Beast? I think I know which one’s me!

  6. Tapestry says:

    via Facebook –

    Juliet wrote: “I am arriving there tomorrow so hope I don’t have any hiccups!!!”

  7. Tapestry says:

    Keep your head down, Juliet. Head for the nearest exit. Most Filipinos are very nice people. It only takes one…

  8. Anonymous says:

    “I would be worried about the reputation of a country that doesn’t appear to operate a sensible system of document processing.” What reputation?
    I have been through immigration dozens of times, and I guess you have too. They are the most corrupt B’strds on the planet. http://www.transparency.org/policy_research/surveys_indices/cpi/2010/results
    £800 does sound a tad high, the last time my wife went through it was P5000 ($100)”accidently” left inside the passport. Sickening I know, but at least she has the visa.

  9. Tapestry says:

    The visa? surely that was already inside the passport or she couldn’t go anyway.

    Who was being paid for what, anonymous?

  10. Anonymous says:

    As above, I meant the visa for your friend. My wife managed to get her UK visa relatively easy, after 12 years of marriage and 3 British citizen children, but even then it took six months of me being here with the citizens, and her there.

    As far as I remember, once the visa is issued, she still had to do some kind of course to allow her out of the country, they “know” that all foreigners are devils and take advantage innocent Filipinas going overseas, so “train” to spot the evil doers in some way.

    It was this piece of paper that was out of date, having spent two years in the USA.

    The thing is, when I was there, I despised the corruption, often finding myself paying out far more for traffic tickets through a matter of principle.

    Sidebar, for readers: in the PI, if you are in any kind of trouble, it is ALWAYS the foreigners fault. The logic being that it is their country, and you are a guest, and if you were not there the accident/ problems would not have occurred.

    Living back here, I often wish we were as corrupt, because at least there everybody gets a shake of the stick, from the lowest to the highest. Whereas here it is only the higher ups (such as Hoon going to Westland and MP’s expenses), and us mere plebs must suffer.

  11. Anonymous says:

    To follow on:
    I remember one traffic accidents when somebody ran into the side of my car, which ended up costing me $5,000, which looking back was cheap.

    I was waiting on Pasay Road, the second car waiting at lights, going across EDSA into Dasmarinas, the diplomatic and business housing. As I went across, somebody ran across the road and slammed into the left wing, and bounced off.

    Being a fool, I took him to hospital, whereas my passenger (a Filipino American) said just give him $100 and that’s it.

    Anyway, to cut a long story short, I ended covering all the hospital bills over two weeks; yes the Doctor wants his pound of flesh too, at $2,000. Another $1,000 went to the cops, and another $1,000 went to the injured and another $1,000 to the lawyers.

    The moral of the story is to follow official embassy advice and throw a few peso out the window and drive off to report the accident a safe distance away.

    Having said that, I did get off very lightly. It could have been a death sentence for the kilo of weed I had on me during the five hours in a police station. Corruption, you cannot beat it, unless you have no money ; )

  12. Tapestry says:

    Nice story. good explanation. Thanks.

  13. Anonymous says:

    what happened to shane happened to me also last May 31, had to buy new ticket 🙁

  14. Tapestry says:

    Nasty shock, I would think. If Philippine immigration wants to bar people from boarding planes for which they have hard-earned visas, they should explain that this is the case and what information they will require to permit a departure. They could advise the various Border Agencies, visa application bureaux and so on, so that passengers can carry the necessary requirements.

    There is nowhere they inform people until they reach the airport.

    We know from a source that in some cases payment has been demanded.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Twice I have had to liberate my Phil fiance from the mean-spirited Phil immmigration officials. They gave no reason for not letting her board because they had no reason. She had all her documents and more. I drafted a letter to the Commissioner of the Bureau of Immigration but after reading other sites I believe there is a chance I would be blacklisted. This activity is so common and notorious in the Phil that there can be no question but that the Immigration Commissioner knows about this conduct which, by the way, is expressly prohibited by the Phil constitution.

  16. Tapestry says:

    It’s a shame for us. It’s a shame for the Philippines.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I have a problem ,I am hoping you can help ,
    My friend lives in the Philippines,she has passport and UK visa ,the problem is she doesnt have vaild id

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