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Nov 05 18, 11:49 am

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BI to open pre-screening desks to reduce OFW offloading

by | EDITOR’S CHOICE, News

Nov. 05, 18 | 11:49 am

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) is set to open pre-screening desks in all international airports across the country to lessen cases of offloading of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said that the move is the bureau’s response to former Special Assistant to President Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go’s request to check on the cases of offloaded OFWs for various reasons.

According to Morente, some of the offloaded OFWs are traveling as tourists for the first time but could not explain the purpose of their travel.

Some OFWs, meanwhile, are offloaded for submitting incomplete documentary requirements.

Under current immigration procedures, all Philippine passport holders pass through the immigration forward counters for departure formalities. If the immigration officer finds a problem and the passenger cannot explain the purpose of travel, he or she will be referred to another screening after 45 seconds before they are finally cleared to travel.

Morente has already issued guidelines for the pre-screening process of passengers pursuant to Republic Act 9208 or the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003, as amended by Republic Act 10364 or the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations on departure formalities.

In the guideline, a “Balik Manggagawa OFW with valid visa and existing work contract with his/her current employer who intends to go to other countries while on vacation is considered a tourist.”

OFWs traveling as tourists will be allowed to travel in accordance with the guidelines for tourist passengers.

Earlier, Go said that OFWs who will travel as tourists to other countries would no longer need to secure an Overseas Employment Contract (OEC) for such trip. OECs are issued by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).

Go said the pre-screening of documents of OFWs would contribute to the smooth and faster departure procedures for international-bound passengers.

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THE FILIPINO TIMES is the biggest and most trusted Filipino newspaper in the UAE.

It has a print run of 60,000 copies and 250,000 readership per week; bolstered by 1 million visitors to its website every month. It also has an e-newsletter sent to its 250,000 subscribers every day.

The Filipino Times is FREE and has the widest targeted circulation across the 7 emirates of the UAE.

With more than 2,500 strategic distribution spots, TFT is available where the Filipinos are - at Smart Bus Shelters, Metro Stations, restaurants, supermarkets, schools, airport lounges, Emirates and Etihad Philippine-bound flights, churches, Filipino community events and many more.

THE FILIPINO TIMES. We are where the Filipinos are.

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