Selene will soon be home in the UK, passport successfully acquired, despite much difficulty and us going on TV to complain about the Passport Office not treating us fairly or reasonably. It was looking as if we would be separated while the passport issue was resolved. Mercifully this did not happen, and next week we can all head home as a family unit – well nearly.
Now we face another problem.
Shane’s mother, known as ‘Nanay’ (meaning Mum) has been unsuccessful in getting her passport from the Philippines Government. We need her to fly back with us for six months to help look after Selene and the kids as Shane hopes to get back to work.
Nanay’s looked after Selene since we left the Philippines in May until now.
She handed in all the requirements to the Philippines Passport Authority today all hopeful, but was refused a passport as her wedding certificate from 1980 has a clerical inconsistency in it. Her name Milay, these days spelled with an ‘i’ was incorrectly written as ‘Melay’ with an ‘e’ by the official producing the passport. Ever since then all the family’s documentation is spelled as ‘Milay’, things like the birth certificates of the children, the death certificate of her husband in 1986 and so on.
There is no reason to make a big deal of the alteration of a single vowel in a document from nearly 40 years ago which has no relevance to the passport application, but the bureaucrat she faced today sent her packing.
The Passport Authority official is insisting that she travels back to Mindanao from Manila and gets her marriage certificate reissued, which is pretty nonsensical. That could take a month. We leave next week and were hoping to get a quick visa as she is pretty much guaranteed to get one from the UKBA. Now she’ll not be able to come with us, thanks to this nonsense.
They say that here if the government blocks you, the best thing to do is to accept it, jump through all the hoops and not complain about it, as things can only get worse for you if you do dare to complain. Is that really true? The President promised that government should work in the interests of the people when he was elected. A family is now needlessly being broken up for the sake of a clerical error made over thirty years ago and nothing to do with what’s happening now.
The Philippines can do better.
Maybe the Filipino media would be interested in the story. Selene made it onto TV in the UK when we were struggling to get her paspsort. She’s willing to go on Filipino TV if necessary to keep her family together a second time and help nanay. Radio Shropshire and The Shropshire Star have been covering our story and asked us to keep in touch. We hoped all was going our way, but it appears we have another hitch.
Where we were six weeks ago on Midlands Today, when we were refused a British passport for Selene.