This is a follow up to that new rule imposed on Filipinos traveling to Dubai. “Due to the heavy work load” at the Philippine embassy here in Dubai, the document that I submitted for notarization is not yet ready.
First they said it would take FIVE, then TEN working days but now, it seems that it has increased to FOURTEEN as of this writing, from the stories circling in the Filipino community here. So it’s a struggle to get this affidavit done – with the waiting time and the time you’ll have to spend queuing outside embassy gates early in the morning.
But this is where it really sucks:
There had been so many stories that despite having ALL the documents, visa to enter the UAE and this notarized affidavit, many Filipinos have been told off at the airport after being “interrogated” ridiculous questions and they were not able to answer, like:
- Do you have show money? –>> defeats the purpose of the Affidavit of Support that states that the sponsoring relative here in Dubai shoulders all the living expenses
- Do you have an ATM card? –>> senseless question and what if the traveler has? It’s a personal possession!
- How much is the cost of your ticket? –>> totally unnecessary and none of the airport personnel’s business!
… and God knows what other stupid questions just to scare the innocent (mostly) first time travelers! When the traveler can’t answer to any of these, he/she is threatened to be denied boarding unless you give something. I’m sure that something is not the special peanut delicacy from your province or the rice cake your grandmother labored for the previous night. It’s “settlement money” or whatever it’s called! They’ll come whisper shamelessly: “C’mon, what’s this small amount I asked compared to what you will earn abroad?”
And many who didn’t give in or had nothing to give have not been able to board the plane, wasting their time, money and leave the airport emotionally scathed.
This is not news actually as this is a daily scene at the airports in Manila and Cebu. No wonder the Philippines ranks high in the most corrupt countries according to a report published by the New York Times.
There are so many complaints but none officially filed and they’ve become nothing but unheard ‘murmurs of common people’. And it eventually dies down.
It’s time the Filipinos stand up to their rights. NO ONE HAS THE RIGHT TO HOLD YOUR DEPARTURE UNLESS YOU’RE A CRIMINAL. And you’re not!!
Any airport personnel do not have the authority to stop you from flying out of the country if:
(1) You have proper visa of entry to your destination.
(2) You are NOT a criminal i.e., your name is not in the “hold departure” list of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) that the Philippine Immigration keeps.
What’s worse is that these people denied boarding already passed through Immigration and already at the boarding gates waiting to be seated on the plane! What an appalling piece of nonsense.
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS, stand up to them and reason out. Don’t just shrug your shoulders and go, or worse, tip your wallet and hand over your hard earned money to these corrupt people!
Lastly, in the 1987 Philippine Constitution, Article III, Bill of Rights:
Section 6. The liberty of abode and of changing the same within the limits prescribed by law shall not be impaired except upon lawful order of the court. Neither shall the right to travel be impaired except in the interest of national security, public safety, or public health, as may be provided by law.
Again, know your rights. Speak up. As long as Filipino travelers remain clueless as they arrive at the international airport, these cunning people at the airport will continue to exist – threatening and fooling people, ruining dreams and getting richer in the process.
Filipinos in Dubai also should start educating friends and relatives back home of this right to travel to erase the fear and the chance to be fooled at the airport.