The BI says that such “disrespectful” behavior qualified visitors as being “undesirable aliens.” BI Commissioner Jaime Morente goes on to say that “The entry and stay of foreigners in the country is not a right but a mere privilege. Thus, they ought to show respect and courtesy to immigration officers upon their arrival in our ports of entry.” Can you just imagine if we adopted this policy in the West? We would need revolving doors at the airports!
According to BI officials, the Bureau has been strictly implementing a policy to “exclude or disallow the entry of foreigner who show disrespect or make offensive utterances to symbols of Philippine authority”. Such grounds for exclusion are listed under a memorandum order that former immigration chief Andrea Domingo issued in 2001. The 2001 memorandum provides not only for the exclusion of “rude foreigners” but also candidates for blacklisting, or to bar their return to the Philippines. While this directive is not new, it is being re-introduced with emphasis and determination (and maybe just a little prejudice).
“This is done to teach these arrogant and discourteous foreigners the lesson that ours is a sovereign country whose authority they should respect,” Jaime Morente also says. The current and updated policy though allows anyone who might be blacklisted for being rude, the opportunity to request removal of their name from the list. To do so, they would need to contact the BI commissioner with a formal apology and provide “meritorious reasons” for why they should be allowed to return to the Philippines.
My question is this – Why can’t U.S. officials follow our own rule of law. Many foreigners here in the Philippines complain that the rule of law here is never followed, but it certainly is when it comes to immigration laws. I guess “rudeness” is protected under our Constitutional 1st Amendment (freedom of speech) and here in the Philippines, freedom of speech and attitude are two different things. Being overly disrespectful here can get you… well… you know!
I say when you intend on visiting or coming to live in one of the “Happiest Country on the Planet,” at least show up here with a smile and good attitude.