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Pinoy Abroad

40 Pinoys get offloaded at NAIA-1 every day – BI

For failing to convince immigration officers that he will not seek employment once he's in Dubai, Reynante Perello has been offloaded thrice.

“Sa una naman po hindi ako masyado na-disappoint,” he said in a report on “24 Oras” Thursday. “Pero noong second at tsaka third medyo na-[disappoint na] kasi ilang beses na hindi pa naayos.”

On his fourth try Perello got lucky. He was finally allowed to visit his relatives in Dubai.

Perello's case is not unusual. According to the Bureau of Immigration, some 40 Filipinos get offloaded at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 every day for various reasons.

The “24 Oras” report said most of these passengers are bound for Dubai, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Bangkok, which are considered transit points accounting for high incidents of human trafficking.

Common destination

According to NAIA Immigration Officer Dennis Opiña, Dubai is the most common destination of Filipinos who want to illegally work overseas.

“Dito kasi sa Dubai napakarami nang Pilipino. Ang gagawin lamang ng kababayan natin hahanap ng sponsor, halimbawa, o kung wala man sponsor magpapakuha lamang o maga-apply ng visa,” Opiña said in the report.

He warned that undocumented Filipinos are more prone to abuse in other countries.

Immigration spokesperson Angelica Pedro said “inconsistencies” in the travel plan may result in a Filipino traveler being offloaded.

“If we find out that there is an inconsistency in any part of your travel, offloading may be a consequence of that,” she said.

Pedro, however, admitted there were instances when they inadvertently offloaded Filipinos who have legitimate reasons to go abroad.

"Collateral damage"

“Out of mga 50 cases mga three or four. 'Yan yung mga sinasabi nating na mga collateral damage na lang sila in our aim to effectively implement yung ating guidelines,” she said.

The report said in order to avoid getting offloaded, one must show proof that he or she will return to the country. Company IDs for employees or trade registration documents for businessmen could be a big help.

Meanwhile, Commission on Human Rights chair Etta Rosales reminded the BI to be careful in offloading passengers since Filipinos have a constitutional right to travel.

Rosales added that there should be enough evidence before the BI stops an individual from leaving the country.  — Drei Medina/KBK, GMA News