DFA warns on ‘travel exemption’ scam victimizing foreigners

Published January 15, 2021, 9:44 PM

by Roy Mabasa

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Friday warned the general public against unscrupulous individuals or groups offering fake travel exemption certificates to foreign nationals who wish to enter the Philippines despite the existing COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.

In a statement, the DFA said these individuals or groups reportedly charge foreign nationals exorbitant fees for such fraudulent travel documents and services.

“The DFA does not collect any ‘travel exemption’ fee or charge whatsoever from foreign nationals permitted to enter the country in accordance with the protocols, directives, and exemptions laid down by the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) and the Office of the President,” the department said.

It further warned that public to be vigilant and wary of such illegal services or fake documents.

At the same time, the foreign affairs office appealed to the public to report anyone involved in such fraudulent activity, including illegal passport facilitation to foreign nationals.  Informants may report any irregularity at the DFA main office, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), and the Philippine National Police (PNP).