"In societies where Robbing Hoods are treated like a celebrity it is but natural to expect political parties to act like a Mafia syndicate" Political Jaywalker "In a nation where corruption is endemic people tend to confuse due process with aiding and abetting criminals" Political Jaywalker "War doesn't determine who is right, war determines who is left" Bertrand Russell "You have just one flash flood of money, you keep your people poor. It's like a time bomb and it's scary" Philippine Lawmaker

UPDATE: WEG, A Boom or Doom on RP Tourism?

When the newspapers announced the easing of WEG (Waiver of Exclusion Ground) rules quoting concert Guitarist newly appointed Immigration Commissioner Marcelino Libanan, prudence tells us that we cannot just rely on newspaper account to avoid adding to the confusion that may cause some travelers with minors.

On that account POGB sent an email inquiry to the Philippine Bureau of Immigration to clarify some questions on the easing of WEG rules, they have responded which we quote verbatim:

With respect to what constitutes "substantive proof of Philippine ancestry", we propose that it consists of:

  1. Government-issued identity documents issued to the minor's Philippine grandfather, grandmother, father, mother, or legal guardian. These documents consist of, but are not limited to, the following: (i) Valid Philippine passport issued by the DFA; (ii) Valid driver's license issued by the LTO; (iii) Valid non-driver's identity document issued by the LTO; (iv) Valid member's identity card issued by the Social Security System and (v) Valid member's identity card issued by the Government Service Insurance System;
  2. Certificate of live birth from a Local Civil Registry showing the Philippine Citizenship of the minor's Philippine grandfather, grandmother, father, mother or legal guardian;
  3. Record of birth issued by a Philippine Consular post showing the Philippine Citizenship of the minor's Philippine grandfather, grandmother, father, mother or legal guardian;
  4. A public instrument issued by competent authorities showing the Philippine Citizenship of the minor's Philippine grandfather, grandmother, father, mother or legal guardian;
  5. A notarized document alleging, among others, that the minor is related by consanguinity to a Philippine grandfather, grandmother, father, mother or legal guardian, who is either an elective or appointive official of the Philippine government, its instrumentalities, agencies or subdivisions; or
  6. A notarized document alleging, among others, that the minor is related by consanguinity to a Philippine grandfather, grandmother, father, mother or legal guardian.

(Please see attached copy of the new WEG rules as embodied in BI Office Memorandum No. MCL-08-006 )

This is a very good development and a testament that it pays to be pro-active. while I have no way of knowing if this is due to the efforts and persistence of Elsa Bayani (see WEG, A Boom or Doom on RP Tourism?) who was responsible for almost single handedly lobbying the Philippine government in waiving the WEG fee, Commissioner Libanan did exactly what she asked. Ask and ye shall receive so goes the saying and that is just the beginning. Imagine if there are more pro-active people acting in unison with like minded persons, who knows the Philippines may soon be a better place to live in.

POGB strongly advise travelers bringing along minors of Filipino lineage to consult with the Philippine Immigration Bureau and exercise their due diligence regarding the WEG rules and guidelines.

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