People who disrespect airport immigration staff face deportation and being blacklisted from the Philippines, immigration chiefs have warned.
“While our immigration officers have been instructed to observe maximum tolerance, it is against the law to disrespect immigration authorities, and violating aliens may be excluded and blacklisted from the Philippines,” Bureau of Immigration spokeswoman Dana Krizia Sandoval said today (Friday, January 4).
“Showing disrespect to symbols of authority is essentially showing disrespect to the country,” she added.
Sandoval issued the warning after reports that Fil-Am Actor Tony Labrusca — who was travelling on a US passport — ranted at immigration officers after he was given just a 30-day visa.
According to reports, he was “furious” at the bureau for “giving him a hard time, despite him being a celebrity, with people wanting to take pictures with him”.
The bureau reminded the public about the scope of the ‘Balikbayan Program’ intended for former Filipinos visiting the Philippines.
Under the law, Sandoval said the one-year Balikbayan visa privilege is “exclusively given to former Filipinos naturalised abroad and their spouse and children who are travelling with them”.
Those who have “Philippine lineage,” she said, do not necessarily qualify for the Balikbayan Privilege.
“The privilege is for former Filipinos, and their immediate family members who are traveling with them only,” she said.
“If these family members are not traveling with the Filipino or former Filipino, they are not qualified for the one-year visa free privilege,” she added.
Sandoval also explained that balikbayans are given an initial stay of one year that can be extended for one to six months.
However, those “who are not qualified, but are included in the list of 157 countries eligible for visa-free entry pursuant to Executive Order No. 408, could get an automatic 30-day visa upon their arrival”.
We have previously reported how 74 foreign arrivals to the Philippines were refused entry, and sometimes blacklisted for being “rude” to immigration staff in 2017.
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