FOCUS | philippine_tourism_news


Foreigner’s Observation Concerning Unlawful Situations

The FOCUS acronym is the focal point behind the birth of the Social Changes website.

FOCUS simply is a foreigner’s observation concerning the unlawful situations that has been encountered when visiting, or even staying for a long period of time, in the Philippines.

Although the Philippines is the rightful home of the natural born Filipinos, privileges are also granted to the balikbayan and foreigners alike.

When I say “privileges,” which is “a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group of people”  I am speaking of those who meets the obligations required to obtain of such rights, and by meeting those obligations it by no means gives an officer the right to pick and choose whom to grant those privileges to…which you can read about in RA 6713 which is the Code of Conduct officers must follow.

Balikbayan Privileges

Balikbayan – “refers to Philippine nationals who are permanently residing abroad including their spouses and children, regardless of nationality or country of birth. It also refers to those of Filipino Descent who acquired foreign citizenship and permanent status abroad.”

BalikbayansFOCUS | balikbayan box are granted many privileges such as sending their family a balikbayan box or helping their non-filipino marriage partner and children avoid fees from an immigration officer when visiting the Philippines…which is a Balikbayan Visa Stamp good for one year unless they changed it. At times such balikbayan privileges are either taken advantages of or even wrongfully denied by an officer which was one thing I one time encountered…I was told I deserved it but they refused to fix the mistake when the officer at the airport denied it which than turned out that I really never even deserved it to begin with but it was being wrongfully practiced because as long as the foreigner had his partner beside them they received the stamp when the law claims it is only granted after the foreigner and partner are out of the country for a full year. I could be wrong but this was how the papers i read presented it when I demanded an officer tell me why I was denied after on and on claiming I deserved it.

It is my strongest advise, from experience, to not ever let a balikbayan box hit the post office or else you will be taxed. Use another company such as LBC or DHL when ever sending a balikbayan box to a family relative in the Philippines.

A Foreigner’s Privileges1369b-philippines-airlines

When it comes to a foreigner’s privileges, it is wise to ask a local Philippine Embassy in your country if you are seeking on staying longer than two weeks, or a month, since their rules are known to changed over time. You can even read of the rules/requirements on their own Bureau of Immigration website but understand that what is ever on their site is not the final authority since they are known to change their minds, do to corruption, or the one who was taking care of the website could of easily of made a mistake since people are only human…the smartest thing to do is always ask questions.

When it comes to a fee called “express lane” you are not required to pay it as long as you are five business days early before the experation of your recent stamp, so be sure to kindly request the “express lane” to be minus or you will be stuck paying for it since they try to gather the most amount as possible…it even goes for you Filipinos obtaining your first passport or simply getting it renewed, so if you are not in a hurry on leaving the country simply tell them that you are willing to wait and would like the express lane minus off.

Everything I am sharing I say either by my own observation, what others have shared or I have seen, or experience.

Strong Advise

Always read up on the rules/obligations encase they have changed or to keep them fresh in your mind because even an honest officer can make mistakes.

  • Department of Justice
  • Bureau of Immigration
  • Code of Conduct RA 6713
  • The 1987 Constitution
  • Read Filipino law books or political books
  • Read anything written by a Filipino so that when you, as a foreigner say something it can also be quoted by another Filipino so that you can confirm that your words are not bias/rude…Filipino officers do not like being corrected even if you do it as politely as possible for they do not like being proven wrong.

The Spanish have never left the Philippines but has continued their stay through the influnce inherited by other natural born Filipinos who were also working within a government line of work during those times.

Read Christine L. DiazThe Other Philippine History Textbook” in a two volume set…the time of the Spanish and the time of the Americans.