Affidavit of support is a notarized document that is being required from Filipino travelers on a tourist/visit visa to another country.
Affidavit of Support – What is it, really?
The document is a statement that the sponsor takes full responsibility for the welfare of the traveler. That the sponsor will bear all necessary cost to support the traveler and that the traveler will not be a burden to the Philippine government and the government of the host country.
A sponsor, usually a relative up to fourth level of consanguinity, applies for the affidavit of support from the Philippine Embassy/Consulate in the host country by filling up a form, attaching supporting documents such as passport copies and proof of residence and source of income of the sponsor and pays for the processing fee. Here in U.A.E., the cost is 100 AED at the time of writing.
What is the intention of the Affidavit of Support?
The document is intended to “curb human trafficking“. A traveler on a tourist/visit visa is highly to be off-loaded without this document. It is also a source of revenue for the Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs.
Why it should be stopped immediately:
- The right to travel and freedom of movement are constitutionally guaranteed rights.
- It is disgrace to the Philippines because it signifies that it does not trust its own citizens. If the host country granted a visa, its a signification of trust. Banning a Filipino with a valid visa from traveling because of lack of the affidavit of support is illogical.
- So what if the traveler intends to find a job in the host country, The Philippines tends to benefit if the traveler does land a job in the host country.
- Air travel will increase, which means that more travel tax collection for the government.
- It contributes to corruption. Those who do not have the document are sometimes forced to use a way around the requirement.
- Its a waste of time and money. Sponsors will have to take time off work to be able to apply and collect the affidavit.
- As far as I know, no other country limits their citizen from exploring the world as a tourist.
- There are other means to curb human trafficking. Instead of assuming that everyone is being trafficked, use proper agency to investigate and track down human traffickers.
- Filipinos are caring citizens, we will take care of each other. There is no need for a document that says that we will be responsible for our visitor.
- It is the governments inherent responsibility to help and support their citizens abroad.
I hope this article reaches some of our lawmakers and do what is necessary.