Foreign nationals warned against disrespecting immigration officers
MANILA, Philippines — Foreign nationals who disrespect immigration officers may be blacklisted in the Philippines, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) warned on Friday.
“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,” Immigration spokesperson Dana Krizia Sandoval said in a statement.
“Showing disrespect to symbols of authority is essentially showing disrespect to the country,” she added.
Sandoval issued the warning following reports of an unnamed local celebrity, who allegedly complained at immigration officers for only giving him a 30-day stay in the country.
The unnamed celebrity reportedly holds an American passport.
According to reports, the celebrity 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 naturalized abroad and their spouse and children who are traveling 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,” Sandoval 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 further said.
Sandoval also explained that balikbayans are given an initial stay of one year that could 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.”/ee
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