Sometimes when I had to sit and wait for the paper shuffling children to process my visa extension I would try and do the maths and estimate how much money was going through this system. If the BI’s recent gloating social media post is true I was way off the mark. According to them they have just drawn in over 1 billion pesos in visas fees for this year.
Manila, Philippines – Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Siegfred Mison announced yesterday that the BI has exceeded the one billion peso mark in its income for tourist visa extension fees—a milestone reached for the first time this month.As of yesterday, the total income of the tourist visa section amounted to Php 1,051,458,049.00, an increase of 7.4% from its 2014 income.“While the BI is not mainly an income-generating agency, we commend our tourist visa section chief, Jonathan Jezreel Diaz, for this remarkable accomplishment. This affirms our commitment to contribute to national development.” said Mison.Tourist visas, or temporary visitor’s visas, as technically termed by the Philippine Immigration Act, are issued to foreign nationals who are staying in the country for pleasure, business, or health. Holders of such visas are not allowed to work or study.This year, the BI processed 142,336 applications for tourist visa extension, 35% of which are made up of Chinese, followed by Koreans, with 25,296 applications, and Americans, with 12,099 applications.Income on tourist visas account for one-third of the total income of the BI, the remaining two-thirds are comprised of income from other types of visas and a small portion for processing of certifications.In 2014, the tourist visa section collected Php 971 million in visa extension fees, or 32% of the total BI income of Php 3.022 billion.“We are positive that we will reach our target income of Php 3.26 million at the end of the year, our highest income on record,” said Mison with enthusiasm.
So where does 1 billion pesos a year go? It certainly doesn’t go towards upgrading their outdated mountains of paperwork system. It doesn’t go towards upgrading their shabby offices with computers from the 80s. We can assume low level BI employees get the same shitty salary as most people in the country and probably won’t see a pay rise in their lifetime. One thing’s for sure – they won’t be reducing their fees and abolishing their imaginary “express lane” fees to attract more visitors and keep those visiting regularly to keep coming back.
One area we can expect to see the money being spent on is more back patting self-congratulatory videos:
And on immature 1st grade schoolchildren projects like their recent: “BI meets the World” Thanksgiving Celebration.
The Bureau of Immigration’s chosen theme for Thanksgiving 2015 is “BI meets the World”. One of the highlights is the Window Display wherein each Division including the Office of the Commissioner and Associate Commissioners will showcase the culture, customs and tradition of the countries they have selected, in consultation with the embassies. Good luck to everyone!
You can just imagine said embassies thinking to themselves, “Here we go again. Just leave them to it if it keeps them happy.”
I once contributed to a similar project. I think I was 5 years old at the time.
A few examples:
Supposed to be the Tower Bridge in London I guess, a few boxes painted and stacked up.
I bet you’d feel right at home here eh @don-quixote
Al @jackson Maybe when you take back your trash they’ll put more effort into the Canada thing eh?
There’s plenty more of these, and for shits and giggles I’d encourage anybody to follow the BI’s facebook page. It’s a never ending source of amusement.
Somebody once told me that with Aquino’s supposed anti-corruption push the Bureau of Immigration were made exempt from investigation, not sure how true that is, but would love to hear your guys stories and theories on this totally incompetent and comedy gold department’s ways.
Anyway, Christmas is almost upon us and it’s time for Herr Führer Siegfred Mison mission to extract Christmas bonuses. Stay safe fellow PFBers and have a Merry Christmas!Published in