In connection with my previous blog with regards to the offloading issues our countrymen are facing, I chanced to have a little chit-chat over a stick of ciggy with some acquaintances, and here are their stories:
Man A – Was off to go to HKG for a holiday. He purchased ticket and accommodation online. He then went to NAIA Terminal 3 for his CEBU PACIFIC flight. As he submitted his travel documents, passport, boarding pass and voucher, he was reprimanded by the Immigration. Asked about his trip, he was asked where he is working currently and he admitted he is from the Government. Immigration then asked him that he cannot leave unless he will provide a Travel Order duly signed by his superior because he works for the government. At 5am, Immigration officers would expect someone is at the office to send this via fax or email? I cannot seem to understand why a TRAVEL ORDER is necessary for someone to enjoy his life? And if this is really required, then why in the hell online bookings does not advise this? I have tried myself to thoroughly check the website http://www.cebupacificair.com and it was never mentioned there specifically. It was in general that valid travel documents should be brought, how could a first holiday traveler knows this? MAN A spent hours to speak to the Immigration Officers, he was offloaded for a reason up to know he cannot fathom. Poor guy went to Cebu Pacific counter for rebooking advising that he was offloaded, and since he booked a promo fare, he wasted his Php 3500 for that. Offloading without offload form and without a note from the immigration to the airline of the reason for offloading is not fair!That is very unjust! He lost approximately Php 40000 all-in as he booked for an advance purchase rate for his accommodation. He was left out by the flight spending so much time arguing with the immigration officers.
Same man, couple of months later, chose to go to Bangkok this time via same airline on a holiday. This time, he has everything he needed including this silly TRAVEL ORDER. As expected, he was again reprimanded by our “GREAT” immigration officers. He felt ridiculed when he was asked, “Why Bangkok, you should go to Singapore or Hongkong first before you go to Bangkok.” Ahhh, since when does the immigration decides for the passenger where he wants to go?He said, even if I choose to go to HELL, it’s none of your damn business! Good answer sir! In short, he was allowed this time and enjoyed his vacation in Thailand. He mentioned that he was seated with another guy. Talk about offloading, the poor guy paid Php 30,000 to immigration so they will let him go!Whoah, if that’s the case, tell how and where I can apply to work in that department? I will be so delighted to let a maximum 2 passenger per day and I get Php 60,000 per day, tax-free!
Now, I came up to some realizations:
1. By means of offloading, corruption may be avoided over the counter. Because, they can have it privately in the ever-so-famous holding room (CCTV Free).
2. A clear immigration policy has to be discussed to all travel agencies and other medium of travel in order to explain a clearer requirements before departure.
3. That our immigration officers are pathetic as they do not know what to do!
4. That possibly, Cebu Pacific Airline Check in Counter agents are the one who gives signal to Immigration on who to offload. Passengers of Airphilippines are not being offloaded!FYI-could it be just a coincidence when I happen to be a passenger of Cebu Pacific Air in April bound or Singapore?
I just hope and pray that this issues for offloading be resolved the soonest! They don’t realize the hard-earned money of our citizens that is put to trash for what they only want is to experience a bit of luxury and enjoy the privilege to visit a visa-free country for Filipinos. Ang sakit ng isa, ay hindi sakit ng lahat. Simple logic lang po, pag ba ang isang pinoy ay pumatay ng tao, lahat ng Filipino ba mamatay tao na din? And that applies to travelers, hindi lahat tatalon, hindi lahat nangloloko. So kung ganun ang nasa isip nyo, eh di pwede din namin isipin lahat ng IMMIGRATION OFFICERS ay nagbebenta ng kaluluwa sa impyerno dahil sa panggagantso sa kapwa pinoy? Isip isip naman po….