I’m pretty sure that you and everyone else reading this have heard the story of difficult immigration officers denying someone to travel because of the latter’s financial capacity, or not enough “show money” as we locally refer it. It was buried in our mind that if we leave the country even if we have relatives abroad ready to cover our expenses upon arriving to the destination to still bring “show money” to make sure no problem will arise.
I, too, was going crazy thinking where to get my “show money” when it was my moment to come here in Thailand. It was a challenge since I didn’t have savings to cover my trip. I thought it will hinder my travel plans to the Kingdom but luckily, it was never asked.
So for those people who will be travelling or if you have family members who have confirmed flights, fear not having no show money. Forget about it as it is now a thing of the past.
In a statement, Bureau of Immigration chief Siegfred Mison said financial capacity is not a requisite before a citizen is allowed to enter or leave the country.
The right to travel is enshrined in the Constitution and enjoyed by every Filipino, he added.
A person who wish to experience the joy of travelling needs to present complete travel documents such as round-trip ticket, passport and other related travel documents like working or tourist visa.
But why other people were “offloaded”?
According to Mison, offloading is not a policy but a consequence of the implementation of the Guidelines.
“Guidelines on Departure Formalities for Internationally Bound Passengers was formulated by a technical working group in accordance with Republic Act 9208 or the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003, and approved by the Department of Justice (DOJ). This took effect last January 2012.”
Mison said they only want prevent the common practice of some Filipinos to leave the country posing as tourists but with the intention of looking for work in the country where they intend to go.
He noted that many Filipinos are victimized by human traffickers or worse, abused by their employers aware of their illegal status.
“We don’t offload people just because we want to. It’s a bitter pill that we have to swallow because we want to protect our fellow Filipinos, he added.”