Embassy warns Filipinos over fake documents

Kota Kinabalu: Filipinos holding tampered travel documents like passport risk being prosecuted for immigration offence by Malaysian authorities.

If found guilty, they will be blacklisted from entering Malaysia and also face imprisonment, including deportations.

Offenders will also be included in the Philippine’s watch list.

Hence, the Philippine Embassy is reminding all its countrymen to refrain from engaging the services of individuals or groups providing dubious documentation services.

The reminder was issued following the discovery of rampant incidence of fake validity extensions on Philippine passports, including forging of signatures of signing officers of the embassy.

The reported incidents prompted the Embassy to caution and advised all its countrymen here that any endorsements on Philippine passports, including extension must be processed directly by the Philippine Embassy.

Thus, all applicants are advised to have their passport’s validity extended only at the consular area of the Philippine Embassy or during official consular missions.

Meanwhile, several Filipinos took advantage in the one-day ‘travel document’ (TD) mission held at Hotel Shangri-La, here, Wednesday.

The consular mission organised by the embassy was designed to assist Filipinos to obtain travel documents to pave way for their voluntary deportation back home without facing jail term and high compound from the Malaysia Immigration authorities.

The Malaysian amnesty ‘3+1’ Programme or Voluntary Deportation Programme will expire on August 30 after which intensified operations to get rid of illegal migrants will be conducted by the authorities nationwide.

“I am very happy and thankful to the Philippine Embassy and Malaysian Immigration Department for allowing me to return home without much difficulties,” holder of expired Philippine passport Gina Cabahug said.

She said paying RM400 (RM300 penalty plus RM100 for exit pass) is reasonable.

Gina, who worked as domestic helper and restaurant assistant in the city, for five years now confessed that she failed to renew her documents for more than one year.

“I wanted to go home earlier but was hesitant because of my expired documents.

For safety reason, I do not want to go home via the back door. I am now looking forward for a reunion with my immediate family members in Manila soon,” Gina said.

“Malaysians, particularly Sabahans, are friendly people and I don’t mind coming back to this place with proper documentation to work again,” she added.

Meanwhile, it was noted that the crowd who turned out to avail the consular travel document mission Wednesday was much smaller than expected.

Many of the applicants (with employers) expressed their intentions to return to Sabah upon getting proper documents in the Philippines. – Nikko Fabian

Source: Daily Express