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Archive for the 'Philippines' Category

The Return and Rebirth of the Abu Sayyaf

Posted by Service Officer on 22nd February 2009

Insurgency is self propagating. The ASG has never really been Ideologically driven; the have been Pirates for as long as they have been Muslim. Remember the "shores of Tripoli"?

MANILA, Philippines – Not long ago, the al-Qaida-linked Abu Sayyaf group was dismissed as all but dead, thanks to a much-heralded joint effort against terrorism by the U.S. and the Philippine military.

Now there is fear that the Abu Sayyaf may be coming back.

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New Machine readable passports for Philippine citizens in the United States

Posted by Service Officer on 26th July 2008

NOTICE ON PASSPORT APPLICATIONS

PHILIPPINE CONSULATE GENERAL IN CHICAGO TO ISSUE

MACHINE READABLE PASSPORTS

IN JUNE 2008

The Philippine Consulate General Chicago would like to inform Filipinos in its consular jurisdiction that effective Monday, 2 June 2008, applications for the new Machine Readable Passports (MRP) will be processed by the Consulate. The new MRPs will provide improved security features at no additional cost. The new MRP will still cost US$50.00.

A Machine Readable Passport (MRP) is a passport where the personal details of the applicant is printed in such a way that it can be read by the naked eye and at the same time, it contains a “machine readable zone” containing the personal data of the passport holder that can be read by a machine or computer.

The MRP allows faster entry and exit of the traveler at airports, as the data and biometrics in the MRP can be read by a machine and stored automatically in the database of immigration officers. This means greater convenience and security for traveler.

The new MRP, which is maroon in color, consists of 44 pages. The data in the MRP is now fully printed. The MRP has superior security features compared to the old green passports, which virtually eliminates the possibility of identity theft and acts of fraud.

Only the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in Manila prints the MRP. Applications received by the Consulate General will be sent to DFA via diplomatic pouch. In view of the transit time, it will now take SIX (6) WEEKS for a passport to be released to the applicant, from the time the application is processed.

PERSONAL APPEARANCE IS REQUIRED. All applicants, whether for the renewal of a passport, or those applying for the first time must appear personally at the Consulate General for data verification, thumb mark/finger-printing and signing of the application form. Application by mail will not be accepted.

Current holders of valid Philippine passports (green passport that has not expired), need not worry as the green passports will still be honored as a bonafide travel document issued by the Government of the Philippines until its date of expiry, even after the roll out of the new machine readable passports.

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Philippine Annual reporting requirement for Aliens in Country

Posted by Service Officer on 27th February 2008

BI reminds aliens of Feb. 29 deadline

The Philippine Star

Show up or be deported.

This was the ultimatum issued by the Bureau of Immigration (BI) Wednesday to all foreign nationals residing in the country as it reminded them of the Feb. 29 deadline to report to the agency to prove their presence here.

Immigration Commissioner Marcelino Libanan said the annual reporting of foreigners, which started last Jan. 2, is mandatory under Section 10 of the Alien Registration Act and applies to all aliens who are holders of immigrant or non-immigrant visas.

Libanan explained that under the law, all foreigners living in the country are required to report to the BI within the first 60 days of every calendar year.

“Any foreigner who fails to make the annual report can either be fined or be subjected to deportation proceedings for violating the country’s alien registration laws. They would be considered improperly document aliens,” he said.

Libanan said foreigners should bring with them their I-Cards as well as the official receipt of the annual report fee they paid the previous year.

The I-Card replaced the paper-based alien certificate of registration (ACR), which foreigners used to present to the BI when making their annual report.

Libanan said an annual report fee of P300 and P10 legal research fee shall be paid by each foreigner to the BI cashier.

As for aliens who are minors, Libanan said it is the duty of their parents or guardians to make the annual report on their behalf.

BI spokesman Floro Balato advised foreigners to go directly to the cashier’s office and pay their fees so they would not to be victimized by unscrupulous fixers.

Balato said a waiting area at the lobby of the BI’s main office has been designated to accommodate foreigners paying the annual fees.

He said the BI earned more than P16.9 million from 53,030 foreigners who paid the annual fees, including penalties.

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