Philippines suspended implementation of new travel Guidelines

A senator has voiced concerns that some of the requirements outlined in the revised travel guidelines for Filipinos are overly "prohibitive." One such requirement cited is the affidavit of support and guarantee, which Filipinos would need to present when visiting relatives abroad. This criticism aligns with the broader public sentiment that the guidelines may place an undue burden on Filipino travelers.

The Philippines Department of Justice (DoJ) Statement

The Philippines' Department of Justice (DoJ) has decided to temporarily suspend the implementation of the revised travel guidelines for Filipino citizens departing the country, which had sparked public outcry. The guidelines were initially slated to come into effect on September 3.

Government's Intentions

The Department of Justice (DoJ) has clarified that the revisions made to the travel guidelines for Filipinos were not intended to burden the general public. Instead, the goal was to enhance the overall experience of departing passengers while also ensuring national security. The DoJ emphasized its intention to strike a balance between these two objectives in the revised guidelines.

The suspension of the guidelines follows the submission of two resolutions by senators who sought to block their implementation. Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri voiced concerns that some of the requirements were overly prohibitive. An example cited was the requirement for an authorized affidavit of support and guarantee, which Filipino travelers would have to present when visiting relatives abroad.

Detailed Requirements

The DoJ's Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (Iacat) had outlined comprehensive lists of documents that travelers needed to secure before their departure. These requirements applied to Filipino expatriates returning home for a vacation.

Clarification and Apology

In response to the controversy generated by the revised guidelines, the DoJ clarified that the changes were meant to provide further clarity on existing rules. Additionally, the department issued an apology to address concerns raised by the public.

The temporary suspension of the rules offers respite for Filipinos planning to travel abroad, with a promise from the government to reevaluate and possibly amend the guidelines to ensure a balance between security and the convenience of travelers.

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