Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Tampering with passports can land you in jail, Filipinos warned

Dubai: Philippine Consulate officials on Tuesday warned Filipinos against resorting to “fixers” and tampering with their passports by getting fake passport extensions — an act that could land them in jail.

The Philippine consulate stopped extending the validity of passports for the purpose of residency visa stamping and travel purposes this January. The embassy followed suit in February. Exemptions were given, however, to passport holders with emergencies such as death in the family, medical or legal emergency.

Consul-General Paul Raymund Cortes said two cases of passport tampering had been reported to his office over the past two weeks.

In both cases, the passports had been stamped with an extension of one year with a “signature” of a consul currently working at the consulate.

“We’re no longer extending passports unless in emergency cases. This stamp is fake,” Cortes told the media.

“His [passport holder] employer called us and asked us if we were still extending passports and I said no,” Cortes said, adding the employer became suspicious and sent him the passport for evaluation.

Consul Ferdinand Flores, whose signature appears on the fake stamp, confirmed that the signature was forged. Upon close scrutiny, the signature is actually part of the stamp itself and was not manually signed on the passport page.

“They used a real person but have the wrong signature,” Flores said.

Deputy Consul-General Giovanni Palec said extending passports for visa purposes no longer makes sense because passports are now processed and delivered in a matter of two to three weeks. Resorting to tampering will only endanger the passport holder.

“The warning is, once you have a false stamp, it nullifies the whole passport. [The passport holder] is in violation of the Philippine Passport Law. That puts him at more risk, legally speaking,” Palec said.

In the UAE, a person who forges a travel document such as a passport and uses it could face between one month and five years in jail, depending on the judge’s decision, according to the UAE Penal Code.

Cortes said the spouse of the passport holder paid Dh700 to a “fixer” outside the consulate for the service.

In reality, if a person needs to extend his passport, he only needs to pay Dh80 for the normal service, and Dh120 for an expedited one. Renewing passports cost Dh240.

Cortes said they will refer the matter to the police for investigation. Consul officials will also give specimen signatures to the immigration if necessary.

Cortes urged Filipinos to only deal with consulate officials wearing proper identification inside the consulate. He also advised them to apply for passport renewal ahead of time, even a year before their passport expires, to avoid any inconvenience.


Friday, February 12, 2016

QA: Can former UAE resident with debts transit through Dubai, Abu Dhabi airports?

I have read an answer of yours about expatriates who have worked in the UAE and have outstanding debts. The article was about people who transit through the UAE to another destination and do not actually go out of the airport or through immigration. I have debt on a credit card, and although not a large amount it is a nightmare to pay it off when not living in the UAE. Even trying to pay the money over the counter at a branch of the bank outside of the UAE has obstacles. Can you confirm that the law is still the same in relation to transiting through the UAE? And how does the passport situation work? Since leaving the UAE I have renewed my passport, as the old one ran out, so would my new passport details be on the UAE system? JC, UK


There are two separate issues here. If a person is transiting through an airport, they do not technically enter the country and pass through immigration, but there is still a risk, especially if a flight is delayed and they are then asked to exit the airport. If someone with a police case registered against them tries to go through immigration, it is likely they will be arrested. That can still happen with a new passport, as a person can be identified by name and date of birth.

Branches of banks in different countries can operate quite separately, and although it is not usually possible to make a deposit over the counter in another currency, it is possible to make an online transfer to the relevant account in respect of the debt. JC would be advised to contact HSBC in the UAE to make arrangements to repay the debt through online transfer. Once the debt is repaid he can then ask the bank to cancel a police case to avoid future problems when travelling.


Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser with Holborn Assets in Dubai, with more than 20 years’ experience. Contact her at and follow her on Twitter at @FinancialUAE

The advice provided in our columns does not constitute legal advice and is provided for information only


Friday, February 5, 2016

How to apply for an OEC in POLO Dubai and in Abu Dhabi

Secure an appointment through or

If you are an OWWA member with expired membership or you are a first time OWWA applicant .
Update your OWWA  membership or be a member of OWWA first.

Print and Submit (3) copies of accomplished print OEC BM On-Line appointment form, together with the following:

Passport ( be ready with your passport copy and visa page copy)

Confirmed roundtrip plane ticket
Personal appearance is a must.

Additional requirements for Balik-Mangagawa, Household Service Worker or Housemaid:

a. Immigration Contract (original) of the worker with two   (2) xerox copies;

b. Original passport of the worker

c. Passport copy of the sponsor and the worker – two (2) xerox copies;

d. Residence Visa copy of the worker – two (2) xerox copies;

e. If the sponsor is non local, she should include two (2) sponsor’s residence visa copy

g. affidavit of undertaking of sponsor

h. information sheet of sponsor


downloadable forms :

OWWA membership form


OWWA membership – AED92

OEC  – AED10

Monday, February 1, 2016


Valid pa ba ang Passport ko?

Ang passport po ay maaaring magamit lamang para sa pagbyahe, pagrenew o pag-apply ng working visa, o anumang transaction kung ito ay mahigit pa sa anim na buwan ( at least 6 months) bago ang expiration date. Kung mas mababa na sa 6 na buwan (less than 6 months) hindi na po ito pwede magamit sa ibang  opisyal na transaction at lalo na sa pagbiyahe o pag-apply/renewal ng visa.
Sikapin po nating alamin ang expiration date ng ating passport.

Mayroon bang fine kung expired na ang passport na hawak ko?

Wala po. Subalit ang lahat ng inconvenience at problema na dulot nito ay inyong responsibilidad. Sikapin po nating laging valid ang ating passport para maiwasan ang anumang suliranin.

E-passport na ba ang hawak ko?

Ang mga pasaporte (kulay Maroon) na isyu ng Dubai PCG mula 2011 ay e-Passport na. Makikita ang logo ng e-Passport sa harap na cover.

Kung hindi pa e-Passport, kailan ako dapat mag renew?

Kung ang pasaporte na hawak mo ay MRRP (kulay Green) o MRP (maroon pero walang logo ng e-Passport) makabubuting mag apply na ng appointment para sa renewal sa lalong madaling panahon.
Sa dami ng mga gustong mag-renew ng passport, ang pinakamaagang appointment ay nasa dalawang buwan na sa hinaharap (ibig sabihin, kung kukuha ka ng appointment ngayon, February 18, maaaring sa Abril o Mayo na ang pinaka maagang appointment na makuha mo).
Mas maagang kumuha ng appointment, mas maiiwasan ang inconvenience lalo na kung may mga proseso na kailangan ang passport, tulad ng pagbyahe, renewal ng visa, may bagong trabaho, etc.

Saan ako kukuha ng appointment?

Maaaring kumuha ng appointment sa Dubai PCG. Ang pila ay magsisimula ng ika-9 ng umaga. Sa araw na iyon, hindi ka makakapag renew, bibigyan ka lamang ng appointment date. Sa appointment date na iyon ka makakapag apply ng renewal.

Maaaring kumuha ng appointment sa DITO at hindi na po sa Facebook page ng Dubai PCG.Hindi po kayo makakatanggap ng sagot mula sa FB mula 20 February 2014.
Patuloy na isinasaayos ng Dubai PCG ang appointment system para higit itong maging mabuti.

Less than 6 months na ang validity ng aking passport at hindi ko na mahihintay ang appointment na nakuha ko dahil mas marami na ang nauna sa akin sa pagpapa appointment at kailangan ko na ang aking passport para sa emergency travel, official business, visa application, visa renewal at iba pang dahilan, ano ang maaari kong gawin?

Kumuha po kayo ng appointment at siguraduhin na mag renew ng passport sa appointment date na nakuha.

Mag-apply ng pansamantalang passport extension. Makikita ang form sa www.pcgdubai.netPassport Services. Naroon din ang mga requirements at kaukulang bayad. Makabubuti ring magdala ng proof of urgency. Ika-9 ng umaga nagsisimula ang proseso para sa extension. Mas madali kung handa na ang form at mga requirements bago magtungo sa Dubai PCG. Alamin din ang tamang counter na pupuntahan. Makukuha ang extended passport sa panahon ding iyon.

Sa araw ng aking appointment, maaari ba akong mag apply din ng extension dahil kailangan kong valid ang aking lumang passport?

Opo. Pareho po lamang ang mga requirements tulad ng nasa taas.

Sino ang hindi nangangailangan ng passport appointment?

Ang mga babaeng buntis, ang mga Senior Citizen, ang mga may kapansanan, ang mga sanggol at bata limang taon (5 years old) pababa ay hindi nangangailangan ng appointment. Sa Courtesy Lane po kayo magtungo.

Ang mga asawa, magulang, kapatid o kasama ng mga taong exempted sa appointment system ay hindi maaaring sumabay sa exemption na ito.

Kailan dadating ang bago kong passport?

Mula sa renewal date, maaaring umabot sa 6-8 linggo bago maging available ang inyong passport. Ibig sabihin, maximum ang 6-8 weeks ngunit maaaring minimum ng 2-3 weeks.

Hindi kailangang maghintay ng 8 weeks bago maghanap ng pangalan dahil maaaring lumabas na ang inyong passport sa mga unang listahan. Makabubuti na matapos ang 2 linggo, i-monitor na ang mga listahan na ipapaskil ng Dubai PCG sa

Kada linggo ay magpapaskil ng isang listahan. Ang mga listahang ito ay Alphabetical ang pagkakasunud-sunod kasama ang Apelyido, Gitnang Pangalan, at Pangalan. Hindi mahirap na hanapin ang sariling pangalan sa listahang ito.

Wala pa ang passport ko, dumating na ang sa kasabay ko, bakit ganun?

Ang mga passports na nasa listahan ay base sa mga natanggap na passports mula sa Manila. Maaaring nauna ang pagpapadala sa passport ng kasama mo kesa sa iyong passport depende sa printing batch doon. Wala pong itinatago o inihuhuling passport ang Dubai PCG. Ang lahat ng natatanggap ay ipinapaskil. Muli, makabubuting imonitor lamang ang mga listahan ng mabuti.

Ano ang kailangan kong dalhin sa pag claim ng bagong passport?

Pakidala po lamang ang lumang passport at resibo. Hindi po maibibigay ang bagong passport kung wala ang lumang passport. Kung nawala ang resibo, sabihin po ito sa Releasing Area Staff. Kung hindi personal na kukunin ang inyong passport, magpadala ng authorization letter kasama ng kopya ng ID ng taong kukuha nito kasama ang inyong lumang passport at resibo.