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Senate seeks suspension of new departure guidelines for Filipinos

August 31 ------ The Senate adopted two resolutions against the new guidelines released by IACAT (Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking) on Departure Formalities for International-Bound Filipino Passengers. The guidelines, which require all Filipino outbound travelers to undergo immigration inspection and present basic travel documents such as a valid passport, boarding pass, appropriate visa, and confirmed return or roundtrip ticket, will go into effect on September 3.

The senators approved an unnumbered resolution urging the inter-agency council to suspend and review the new guidelines, and another unnumbered resolution authorizing Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri to file a temporary restraining order (TRO) before the Supreme Court (SC) if necessary.

In a privilege speech, Zubiri said traveling is a right mandated by the 1987 Constitution. “There has to be a way to protect our people without also hampering their right to travel. This is a constitutional right. It’s under Article III, Section 6 of our Constitution,” Zubiri said in mixed English and Filipino.


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