Chaos at immigration counters: Travelers fear abuse due to new departure rules

Netizens are wary of the stricter guidelines released by the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) for Filipinos traveling overseas, saying they could be abused by immigration officers.

Under the guidelines, Filipinos leaving the country might be asked to present to the immigration officer documents proving their capacity to pay for self-funded trips abroad. Those with relatives overseas might be asked to present their birth or marriage certificates to prove the relationship.

Some netizens fear that immigration officers might use the requirements to hold departing passengers or extort money from them.

Some people pointed out that it’s much more convenient to use their credit cards abroad rather than carry cash. Others cited the Deposit Secrecy Law, saying what Immigration officials want are beyond their authority.