Petition to Declare ‘Authenticated Invitation Letter’ as NOT NECESSARY FOR TRAVEL

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Petition to Declare ‘Authenticated Invitation Letter’ as NOT NECESSARY FOR TRAVEL Powered By Docstoc
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SEC. ALBERT F. DEL ROSARIO
Department of Foreign Affairs
Republic of the Philippines
2330 Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City, Philippines



SUBJECT:      Petition to Declare ‘Authenticated Invitation Letter’ as NOT
              NECESSARY FOR TRAVEL


Dear Secretary Albert F. Del Rosario:

In recent months, many Filipinos have been mired in confusion in regard to the
need to present an ‘authenticated’ invitation letter when traveling abroad. A
letter/affidavit of invitation/support authenticated by the Philippine embassy in the
country of destination is believed to be required for passengers traveling as
tourists and cases have been reported that lack of said document can cause
delay, if not, total denial of clearance for departure.

In fact, one airline company advises its passengers about this requirement in
their website. To wit:

       Philippine immigration requirement

       Passengers travelling as tourists
       Must have their return flight confirmed (not more than 1 (one) month), and
       must have an invitation letter/affidavit of support from a sponsor that is dry
       sealed and duly authenticated by the Philippine Consulate office in a
       foreign country (original copy). (emphasis added)

This gets confusing as, in a letter to the Department of Foreign Affairs on
September 30, Bureau of Immigration (BI) Officer-in-charge Ronaldo P. Ledesma
noted that the BI:

       “does not necessarily require authenticated affidavit of support and/or
       guarantee. But many Filipino travelers resort to this when they cannot
       show either their personal capacity or that of their sponsor to shoulder the
       costs of the trip.”(emphasis added)

Embassies of the Philippines in Thailand and Malaysia have released official
statements about the growing concerns that many Filipinos have against the
authenticated invitation letter ‘requirement’.
We, as concerned Filipinos working and/or traveling abroad, would like our
voices to be heard on this issue. We believe that:

   •   The ‘authenticated invitation letter’ costs too much for regular working
       Filipinos like us. In Singapore, this costs S$42.50 excluding transportation
       costs to go to the Embassy and courier fee as the original document must
       be sent to the Philippines;

   •   The process to obtain an authenticated invitation letter takes too much
       time (usually, we need to take a full day leave) – a time that we would
       rather use to do our jobs and earn income for our families;

   •   There is a way for a regular invitation letter to be truthful and
       credible so there is no need for an ‘authenticated’ one;

   •   Lack of uniform implementation of this so-called ‘requirement’ opens
       doors for irregularity and dishonesty;

   •   While we support all efforts of our Philippine government to combat
       human trafficking, requiring an authenticated invitation letter does not
       necessarily help in solving this problem.


With these points, and to erase any confusion about this issue, we seek your
support to: Formally Declare the ‘Authenticated Invitation Letter’ as NOT
NECESSARY FOR TRAVEL.

We hope this letter will merit your preferential attention. Thank you.




Sincerely,


CONCERNED FILIPINOS WORKING AND/OR TRAVELING ABROAD
References:
Inquirer Report:
http://globalnation.inquirer.net/news/breakingnews/view/20110103-312302/Invitation-letter-not-guarantee-of-travel-
clearance-to-Malaysia

Airline Company:
http://www.tigerairways.com/sg/en/ph_immigration_req.php

Embassy of the Philippines (Thailand)
http://www.philembassy-bangkok.net/component/content/article/47-advisory/258-concerns-about-the-affidavit-of-
supportletter-of-invitation

Embassy of the Philippines (Malaysia)
http://www.gov.ph/2010/12/30/philippine-embassy-in-kuala-lumpur-clarifies-authenticated-affidavit-of-invitationsupport-not-
guarantee-of-cleared-departure-for-malaysia/

				
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posted:7/5/2011
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