Thursday, October 30, 2008

Five Thousand - Peso OEC

This is a story of my friend and co-worker on his way back here in Singapore.

At 18:00, he's already at the MCIAA airport in Mactan Cebu lining up for an available immigration officer. He's flying back after a 2-week vacation in Cebu. When the lady immigration officer asked him for an OEC (Overseas Employment Certificate), he said that he wasn't able to secure one and he told her that he just paid the travel tax. But the lady officer instructed him to go to her supervisor without telling why.

My friend then went to see a man in uniform with a mask (later he found out that he just came from a dialysis) in his office. He's talking with another ofw who also don't have his oec with him. My friend then told the supervisor that he doesn't have an oec and the supervisor replied, "Nah, dili jud ka kalarga ana dong", (You will not be allowed to leave the country), "Ako pa nimo mobayad na lang ka kay hapit na raba ang oras", (If I were you I would just pay so you could still catch the flight). My friend then realized that the supervisor wanted an under-the-table negotiation. He then asked if how much would would he'll be paying, "Five Thousand lang, adto sa CR inya ipaipit sa passport nimo, then ihatag imo passport nako", (Five Thousand Pesos only, just go to the toilet and insert the money in your passport and give it to me).

My friend was shocked on how big the amount the supervisor was asking, he then told the supervisor that what he got was only S$20, and the supervisor said that that wouldn't be enough, and even asked him if he have his ATM card with him or to call his family to raise the amount that he's asking.

Without any idea on what to do, my friend just stood outside the supervisor's office while the other ofw was still inside negotiating. The ofw then came out after 5 more minutes and then proceeded to the waiting area for boarding.

After a couple of minutes, the lady officer then approached my friend and talked to her supervisor saying, "ako na lang ni i-approve kay imo na mn to gi-approved ang isa", (I will just let him pass as you already let the other guy go). It was then that my friend was approved to go to the waiting lounge.

When he's already at the waiting area, he approached the other ofw and found out that the ofw paid 5,000 php.

A classic story of what is going on in our country today.