BI makes it clear: Yearbook, diploma not needed to go through immigration process
MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has set the record straight: You won’t need a yearbook or a diploma to secure the go-ahead to travel from immigration officers.
BI spokesperson Dana Sandoval made the clarification on Friday in light of a now-viral video of a Filipino who ranted about an immigration officer that barraged her with “irrelevant questions” – even asking if she brought her yearbook with her.
The lengthy interrogation, according to the traveler, resulted in her missing her flight bound for Israel.
“You do not need to present your yearbooks, diplomas, and the like to immigration when you are departing,” Sandoval told INQUIRER.net over the phone.
She took note of the lingering “misconception” on social media as more people have been posting about bringing their yearbooks and diplomas to the airport “in hopes that they won’t be interviewed by the immigration.”
“They don’t need to bring these things. These are not required by the immigration,” Sandoval said.
She reiterated that asking to see a traveler’s yearbook or diploma is “not a normal question” of immigration officers.
“There’s a concern on how the interview was conducted. We are not questioning having a secondary inspection because of what is happening with a lot of Filipino victims for trafficking and illegal recruitment,” Sandoval said.
She then pointed out that the problem was in the way the interview was done, noting that the immigration officer may have been unable to explain to the traveler the reasons why such questions were being asked prior to her departure.
BI earlier said it had extended apologies to the traveler who complained about her immigration experience, as well as other passengers who may have likewise been subjected to such an “inconvenience.”
It then called for “consideration and understanding as the agency is constrained to implement strict measures to assess departing passengers.”
Sandoval assured the public that an investigation into the incident is already underway.
The immigration officer involved has since been relieved from his post and is now assigned to a back office, she added.
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