Category: General Topics


05 - 24

Divorce is not honored nor practiced in the Philippines.  The only option for Filipino couples to legally separate and regain their freedom to marry another person is to get their marriage annulled.  Annulment processes are long and expensive, often ugly and traumatic especially when children are involved.  Unlike divorce where the couple need only to agree to end a legally valid marriage, annulment proceeding is done to prove that the marriage never existed at all.  And to do that, the reasons for filing an annulment case must be compelling enough to destroy the integrity of the erring couple’s union.

Something, or someone’s, gotta give.

There are two types of annulment in the Philippines:

  1. Declaration of Nullity of Marriage where the marriage is believed to be null and void from the beginning, and
  2. Annulment of Marriage is filed for valid marriages (marriage is considered valid until voided).

In case you are thinking of filing an annulment, or are just plain curious how such cases are built, this article is for you.

Valid grounds for declaration of absolute nullity of marriage, pursuant to the Family Code of the Philippines:

  1. Either party is below 18 years of age, even with the consent of parents or guardians.
  2. Marriage was solemnized by a person not legally authorized to perform marriages, unless it was contracted with either or both parties believing in good faith that the solemnizing officer had the legal authority ot do so.
  3. Marriage was solemnized without license, except those allowed under the law.
  4. Bigamous or polygamous marriages not falling under Article 41.
  5. Marriage was contracted through mistake of one contracting party as to the identity of the other.
  6. Subsequent marriages that are void under Article 53.
  7. Either party was psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential marital obligations of marriage at the time of the celebration of the marriage.
  8. Incestuous marriages.
  9. Marriages which are void from the beginning for reasons of public policy.

Grounds for filing a petition for annulment of marriage:

  1. Either party was 18 years of age or over but below twenty-one, and the marriage was solemnized without the consent of parents, guardian, or person having substitute parental authority over the party, in that order, unless after attaining the age of twenty-one, he/she freely cohabited with the other party;
  2. Either party was of unsound mind, unless such party after coming to reason, freely cohabited with the other as husband and wife;
  3. Consent of either party was obtained by fraud, unless such party afterwards, with full knowledge of the facts constituting the fraud, freely cohabited with the other;
  4. The consent of either party was obtained by force, intimidation or undue influence, unless the same having disappeared or ceased, such party thereafter freely cohabited with the other;
  5. Either party was physically incapable of consummating the marriage with the other, and such incapacity continues and appears to be incurable; or
  6. Either party was afflicted with a sexually-transmissible disease found to be serious and appears to be incurable.

Other important reminders when filing a petition for annulment:

  • You may only file a petition to nullify or annul your marriage if any of the above-mentioned grounds actually exist in your marriage.
  • Being separated from your husband or wife is not grounds for annulment, not even if you have ceased communicating with each other for considerable length of time.
  • Infidelity is not grounds for annulment in the Philippines.
  • The petition must be filed before the Regional Trial Court where the petitioner or the respondent resides.
  • Upon granting of annulment petition, the absolute community of property or conjugal partnership established between the spouses during the marriage shall be dissolved and liquidated.
  • Any property acquired by either party after the annulment has been granted shall be an individual property of the party who purchased it.
  • And lastly, the entire annulment procedure is not only physically, emotionally, and psychologically taxing, it can also place a dent in your finances.

We hope you found these information helpful.  You can shoot us your questions about marriages and separations and we will do our best to find the answers for you.

Sources:

http://www.gov.ph

http://www.manilatimes.net

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05 - 23

Brenda, a Pinay tourist in the US, married her cousin’s friend Doug, a US citizen, while on vacation in Florida.  A few months after the wedding, the couple traveled back to the Philippines to break the news to Brenda’s parents.  Sadly though, her parents vehemently opposed their daughter’s rash decision to marry a person they hardly know.  Because of the sad turn of events, Doug traveled back to the US on his own, leaving Brenda to deal with her family’s shock and disapproval.

Brenda and Doug never got the chance to see each other again.  Soon enough, the incessant email exchanges and nightly phone calls between the newlyweds slowly dwindled to brief text messages and unreturned missed calls.  Before long, Brenda met a new guy at work and quickly fell in love.  This time, she knew he was “the one”.  She introduced him to her parents who immediately approved of their budding romance.  Less than a year later, she was, again, busy planning her wedding.

“Di ba kasal ka na sa U.S.?” asked one of Brenda’s aunts.

“Oo, pero hindi naman niya pinarehistro dito sa Pilipinas yung kasal niya. So single pa din siya dito.” came Brenda’s Mom’s firm reply.

Could this be true?  Can one simply disregard a marriage solemnized in another country by not declaring it before a Local Civil Registry office?  Can you be married in one country and single in another?

We received this same question from an avid reader and thought it wise to find out if overseas marriages are not considered valid in our country.  Below are our findings:

Lex Loci Celebrationis

This is the rule we follow for marriages celebrated abroad between two Filipinos or a Filipino and a person of different citizenship.  The Latin phrase translates to “law of the place of the ceremony”.

This means that the Philippines recognizes a marriage celebrated or solemnized in a different country as long as it follows the requirements set by the law of that state.  Hence, if the marriage is deemed valid in that country, it is then deemed valid in the Philippines, even if it did not comply with the procedures and requirements set the Family Code of the Philippines.

Exceptions to the Rule           

Article 26 of the Family Code excludes the following prohibited marriages:

  1. Cases where a party is below eighteen years old at the time of marriage;
  2. A party is psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential marital obligations;
  3. Mistake in identity of a spouse;
  4. Subsequent marriages celebrated without properly terminating, liquidating, and distributing the properties of a previous marriage;
  5. Bigamous or polygamous marriages;
  6. Incestuous marriages;
  7. Void marriages for reason of public policy such as marriage between collateral blood relatives up to fourth civil degree or between step-parent and step-child.

If the marriage abroad does not fall under any of the above-mentioned exceptions, then it is considered valid in the Philippines.

But the marriage was not registered in the Philippines

The marriage’s validity is not at all affected by the fact that it was not properly registered in the Philippines.  For as long as it is considered valid in the country where it was celebrated, the marriage is deemed valid in the Philippines as well.  Registering a marriage is done to simply record an event affecting the civil status of the persons involved; it serves as evidence of the act or occurrence.  Its absence does not invalidate the marriage.

Can Brenda continue with her plans of marrying her Filipino boyfriend?

If we are to apply the principles of Lex Loci Celebrationis, Brenda is no longer free to marry another person, in the US or here in the Philippines.  And the only way she can regain her single status and be able to marry another person is if Doug, being the US citizen, files for divorce abroad.

We hope you found these information helpful.  If you have questions about civil registration in the Philippines, please feel free to drop us a line and we will do our best to find the answers for you.

Source:

www.gov.ph (The Family Code of the Philippines)

http://www.manilatimes.net

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05 - 19

The President has signed Executive Order No. 26, banning smokers from puffing toxic tobacco fumes in public and enclosed places.

Below is a summary of EO No. 26 entitled: “Providing for the establishment of smoke-free environments in public and enclosed spaces,”

  1. Enclosed and public spaces include public transportation, whether in motion or stopped at a traffic light or on a roadside.
  2. Establishments must assign a Designated Smoking Area (DSA) following the standards provided in the EO.  DSAs may be an open space or a separate area with proper ventilation.
  3. DSAs in an enclosed space must not have an opening where cigarette-smoke-contaminated air may escape into smoke-free areas of the enclosure (buildings, rooms, public transportation), save for a “single door with an automatic door closer”.
  4. Only one DSA is allowed per building and transportation and must have a clear signage identifying that area as a smoking area.
  5. DSAs must have a non-smoking buffer zone, the combined area of both must not be larger than 20% of the total floor area of the building or transportation.
  6. Minors are not allowed to enter DSAs and its buffer zone.
  7. The following are not allowed to have a DSA at all:
    • Centers of youth activity such as playschools, preparatory schools, elementary schools, high schools, colleges and universities, youth hostels, and recreational facilities for minors.
    • Elevators and stairwells.
    • Locations where fire hazards are present.
    • Premises of private and public hospitals, as well as medical, dental, and optical clinics.
    • Food preparation areas.
  8. Persons-in-charge such as mangers or presidents of establishments, building administrators are prohibited from tolerating smoking public places surrounding their buildings and places of assignment.
  9. Sale, distribution, purchase of tobacco products to and from minors are prohibited.
  10. Tobacco advertisements and promotional materials (kiosks, special offer booths, etc.) are prohibited within 100 meters from the perimeter of a school, public playground, and other facilities where minors often converge or stay.
  11. Violators of provisions on providing tobacco products to minors may be fined Php 5,000, imprisoned of up to 30 days, or revocation of business licenses and permits.
  12. Violators of the rules for smoking in public places may be fined Php 500 up to Php 10,000.

The EO will be enforced 60 days after ongoing publication in broadsheets nationwide.

Sources:

www.cnnphilippines.com

www.rappler.com

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05 - 18

The announcement that the Anti-distracted Driving Act will finally be enforced this week (today actually!) was met with a lot of questions from drivers, especially those that use navigation apps and other gadgets such as dash cameras.  If you read our previous article on this topic or have seen the news articles in the internet, you already have an idea of the exorbitant fees that will be charged anyone caught violating the law.  Quite obviously, the clamor for answers and clarifications was driven by the rather shocking fees you will have to pay if you so much as looked at your beeping phone while sitting behind the wheel.

We ran a research to find out what the Land Transportation Office (LTO) has to say about these questions.  We hope the following details gathered from the internet will help clear things out and set every driver’s mind at ease.

1.On the use of navigation apps installed on smartphones.

Question: Does this mean I could no longer use navigation apps while driving?

Answer: According to the LTO, drivers are still allowed to use these smartphone-based apps provided:

  • The driver sets the app BEFORE driving.
  • Uses a speaker to listen to the directions instead of looking at the smartphone screen.
  • Pulls over if he needs to reset his destination.

2. On the use of a mobile phone mount.

Question: Are mobile phone mounts included in the prohibitions?

Answer: No, for as long as the phone and the mount do not obstruct the driver’s view.

3. On the use of dash cameras.

Question: Should I now get rid of my dashcam?

Answer: Dashcams are allowed.  Just place it behind the rearview mirror so that, again, it does not obstruct the driver’s line of sight.

4. On the use of earphones while driving.

Question: Earphones are hands-free devices, am I allowed to use this while driving?

Answer: Yes but only to make or receive calls.  You should not use it to listen to music while on the road.

5. On heavily tinted cars whose drivers think they can “get away with it”.

Question: How will they know I’m using my mobile, they can’t see me!

Answer: This just in: The Department of Transportation now uses high-definition cameras that can detect light coming from devices inside heavily tinted cars.  Plus, enforcers are well-trained to distinguish if a driver is distracted by merely observing the car’s movement.

The law covers public and private vehicles, including bicycles, motorcycles, motorcycle taxis, “kalesas” or any other animal-driven wagons or carts.  Yes, no one is exempted, not even vehicles owned by the government.  According to the LTO Chief, violators can raise their contentions during the hearing at the LTO.  That simply means that enforcers will not let erring drivers slide and skedaddle without a violation ticket, no questions asked.

There you have it!  If you have other questions, feel free to post it here and we’ll try our best to dig deeper and find the answers for you.

Have a safe trip!

Reference: www.cnnphilippines.com

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05 - 16 (1)

In August of last year, we featured the details of the Anti-Distracted Driving Act and got various reactions from our readers.  Less than a year later, it will finally be enforced in all areas in the Philippines!

On Thursday, May 18, 2017, private and public utility drivers will no longer be allowed to use mobile devices behind the wheel, whether they are on the move or on full stop while waiting for traffic lights to change.

To refresh our memories, below are the salient points of the Anti-Distracted Driving Act and the penalties that await those who will insist on their exceptional multi-tasking abilities.

What is “Distracted Driving”?

In the bill, it is defined as:

  • “using a mobile communications device to write, send, or read text-based communication or to make or receive calls, and other similar acts.”
  • “an electronic entertainment or computing device to play games, watch movies, surf the internet, compose messages, read e-books, perform calculations, and other similar acts.”

Exemptions:

  • You may use the mentioned mobile devices as long as it does not interfere with your line of sight.
  • You may make and receive calls as long as you do so using hands-free functions such as speakerphones and earphones.
  • You may use the device to make an emergency call.
  • Drivers of ambulances, fire trucks, and the like may use their mobile phones for as long as this is done in the scope of their duties and when responding to emergencies.

What are the fines and penalties if a driver violates the law?

  1. First offense – Php 5,000
  2. Second offense – Php 10,000
  3. Third offense – Php 15,000 and a 3-month suspension of your driver’s license
  4. Fourth offense –Php 20,000 and revocation of your driver’s license

MMDA and PNP are empowered to apprehend violators, whether private or public vehicles, including government and diplomatic vehicles, motorcycles, and tricycles.

References:

www.gov.ph

http://www.topgear.com.ph

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05 - 04

The good news about the Senate’s approval of the Expanded Maternity Leave Act of 2017 (or Senate Bill 1305) created a buzz in workplaces around the country.   The update fueled parents’ and would-be parents’ hopes of longer months away from the office to spend with their baby and recuperate from the stresses of childbirth.

What is probably not clear with some readers is the fact that the bill is yet to be approved by the President and therefore, is not yet enforced.  We have been receiving numerous questions through this blog as to why they (expectant mothers) are not yet granted the supposedly mandatory 120 days of maternity leave.  When they ask their employers, they are simply told “wala pang guidelines para diyan”.  This answer proved to be too vague for excited pregnant women looking forward to being given longer leave days from work.

Below is a summary of the succeeding procedures that the bill will go through before it is declared a “law”:

  1. Below is a summary of the succeeding procedures that the bill will go through before it is declared a “law”:
  2. After both have signed, the President will then assign the bill with an RA number (Republic Act).
  3. The law will take effect in 15 days after it is publicized in the Official Gazette.

While we eagerly anticipate the President’s endorsement, let us take this time to fully understand the salient points of the Extended Maternity Leave.  Read on!

Who are covered by the Extended Maternity Leave?

a. This applies to all female workers in the government and private sectors.

b. While married mothers shall be granted 120 days maternity leave with pay and an option to extend it for another 30 days without pay, single mothers shall be granted a total of 150 days maternity leave with pay.  The number of days covers both types of birth-giving methods: caesarean operation or normal delivery.

c. Fathers shall be granted 30 days of paternity leave.

d. Of the 120 days maternity leave, 30 may be transferred to other caregivers such as: the spouse, common-law partner, and relatives up to the fourth degree of consanguinity.

Does this include miscarriages?

Yes; the female employee must be granted the same leave benefit even if they were not able to carry the child to full term or if the pregnancy resulted in a medical abortion.

Apart from granting the mandatory maternity leave to the employee, what are the other obligations of employers under this law?

a. The employer shall give in advance the employee’s full payment of the leave no later than 30 days from the filing of the maternity leave application.

b. Female employees who file for the maternity leave is entitled to not less than 2/3 of their regular monthly wages.

c. Female employees must be able to enjoy these leave benefits without prejudice to their security of tenure and cannot be used as basis for demotion or termination from employment.

What happens if the employer refuses to grant the mandatory maternity leaves?

The bill offers no excuses for erring employers.  A penalty of PHP 20,000.00 and imprisonment of up to 12 years awaits any employer proven to have violated the new law.

Good news indeed, eh?  Stay tuned for further announcements regarding the Extended Maternity Leave Act.

Sources:

http://www.rappler.com/nation/163407-senate-approves-bill-120-days-maternity-leave-final-reading

http://mommymundo.com

http://resources.bpocareerhub.com

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04 - 19

After the wedding party is over and all the gifts have been unwrapped, the newly-wed couple settles back and realizes that life continues in a normal fashion.  Reality sets in sooner than they expect and before long, they find themselves dealing with the same matters they dealt with when they were single.

One such matter is their finances.

While most couples succeed at creating an effective financial plan for their future family, some are not as lucky and find themselves parting ways because of money matters.  One way of settling this sensitive issue between couples is by having a prenuptial agreement.

What are prenuptial agreements and is this something everybody should consider before getting married?  Why do couples frown at the idea of signing a prenuptial agreement only to regret not having one in the end?

We researched on this topic and gathered relevant information that can help soon-to-be husbands and wives appreciate the value of having a prenuptial agreement before taking the plunge.

What is a Prenuptial Agreement?

A Prenuptial Agreement is a contract that covers the provisions on a couple’s division of property in the event of a separation (annulment, legal separation).  It sounds morbid (and oh so unromantic) but it will save you from the legal and emotional complications of separating properties in case the marriage does not work.

Why should a couple consider having a prenuptial agreement?

Contrary to popular belief, a Prenuptial Agreement is open not only to well-to-do couples and celebrities.  Even an average income earner must seriously consider signing one.  Below is a list of probable reasons to consider having a prenuptial agreement:

  1. One of you has children from a previous relationship.Your children from your previous marriage or relationship are heirs to your properties.  You can protect your children’s claims to their inheritance through a prenuptial agreement.
  2. One of you is a national of a country with a different set of rules governing property ownership.Since different countries have different laws regarding property ownership, a prenuptial agreement between you and your foreign national partner will simplify these matters.
  3. One of you is a co-owner of a business or an asset.Once you get married, your spouse automatically becomes a co-owner of a business you co-owned before the wedding.  If your business partners are not open to the idea of having an additional business partner, you may want to consider signing a prenuptial agreement.  This shall put your business partners’ qualms on shares to rest.
  4. One of you owns a considerable amount of assets.Your inheritance, savings from when you were single, or shares in a family business, are assets acquired prior to your marriage.  You have the liberty to choose to manage these assets on your own even after getting married.  To ensure your sole ownership, sign a prenuptial agreement.

In the absence of a prenuptial agreement, what governs the property relations between the spouses?

All properties acquired during the marriage shall be considered conjugal properties where husband and wife share in the property’s ownership.

For a prenuptial agreement to be legal and binding, the couple must both enter into it voluntarily.  Have the document notarized and recorded in the local civil registry.  This must be accomplished BEFORE your wedding date.

Source: http://news.abs-cbn.com/business/06/01/15/why-couples-should-consider-getting-prenup

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04 - 18

Filipinos like using nicknames.  We give our children unique sounding names such as ‘Jun-Jun’, ‘Ken-Ken’, and ‘Mac-Mac’.  Girls are named ‘Ging-Ging’, ‘Che-Che’, and sometimes, ‘Pot-Pot’.  Every family has a Tito Boy and a Tita Baby, a Kuya Boyet and an Ate Mayet, a Tito Tito or a Tita Tita.  Very seldom are we called by our real names.  When our parents call us by our complete names, we know we are in serious trouble.

While nicknames are fun and easy to remember, it has also caused problems for some.  Are there limitations to one’s use of his aliases?  When is it unlawful to use your nickname in public?  Did you know that there a lot of laws that touch on the use of nicknames and aliases?

Here is a list of Philippine laws that deal with an individual’s use of nicknames and aliases.  It pays to be properly informed because ignorance of the law excuses no one.  Don’t let your nickname get you in serious trouble.

What is a nickname or alias?

These are names we use publicly and habitually apart from our real names registered at birth or during baptism.  Any other name or names used by a person to distinguish himself other than his given name is called an alias (or aliases if the person has several).

Are nicknames or aliases allowed by law?

While Filipinos are not prohibited from using nicknames, there is a law that regulates the use of names other than one’s given name.  Commonwealth Act No. 142 (an Act to Regulate the Use of Aliases) was primarily intended to discourage the common practice among Chinese nationals who use different names and aliases in their business transactions.

Is the use of an alias in a business transaction or a public document automatically considered unlawful?

No.  Under the said Commonwealth Act, the use of a nickname or alias in a single instance without any indication that the user intends to be known by this name in addition to his real name does not fall within the prohibition.

The use of a nickname becomes illegal when it is meant to conceal or mislead, as detailed in the following laws involving false names and identities:

  1. The Anti-money Laundering Act of 2002 (Republic Act No. 9160, as amended), which requires banks and other covered institutions to establish and record the true identity of their clients based on official documents.
  2. The Revised Penal Code which penalizes the public use of a fictitious name for the purpose of concealing a crime or evading the execution of a judgment.
  3. The Civil Code of the Philippines which prohibits the use of different names and surnames, except for pen and stage names (usually observed among celebrities, authors, and the like).
  4. The Philippine Immigration Act of 1940 which penalizes any individual who shall evade the Immigration Laws by appearing under an assumed or fictitious name.
  5. The Tax Reform Act of 1997 which made it unlawful for any person to enter any false or fictitious name in a taxpayer’s books of accounts or records.
  6. Presidential Decree No. 1829 which penalizes any person who shall obstruct, impede, frustrate, or delay the apprehension of suspects by publicly using a fictitious name for the purpose of concealing a crime.
  7. Commonwealth Act 142 which penalizes any person who shall use any name different from the one with which he was registered at birth in the office of the local civil registry.

Nicknames and aliases is also one of the most common reasons why most Filipinos encounter problems with their birth certificates. By habitually using nicknames on public documents, they end up being listed under these aliases, contradicting the names written on their birth certificates.  This becomes a problem when the person applies for a passport, a license, or even when getting married.

Think twice before deciding to write your nickname on a public document.  Be careful you do not bring yourself unnecessary trouble by using a name you have been called since you were a kid.  Always choose to write your full name as written on your birth certificate.

Source: http://jlp-law.com/blog/when-the-use-of-aliases-violates-the-law/

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04 - 04 (1)

Myla’s mobile phone has been ringing off its expensive leather case since she clocked in for work.  When people around her started staring at her musical bag where the sound seemed to be coming from, she reached inside the bag, flipped the leather cover of the phone, and calmly tapped the volume icon on the screen.  The ringing was reduced to a low, successive hum-buzz.  Problem solved.

The call was coming from a credit card collector; those people tasked to get debtors with overdue accounts to pay their obligations and pay them in full.  Myla used to take their calls graciously.  She had been asking for a reasonable payment term for her credit card bill meantime that she is still unable to make the full payment of Php 67,000.00.  The collectors agreed to her request but slammed her monthly payments with enormous interest rates!  When Myla differed, they began calling her at all hours of the day, even during weekends.  They even found a way to get a hold of Myla’s home landline number; they spoke to Myla’s senior citizen mother and told her that if Myla continues to ignore their phone calls, they will have her apprehended by cops and detained in prison.

Are credit collectors free to pursue debtors any way they deem necessary?

While creditors are entitled to payment and are at a liberty to demand from their debtors, they must not cross the lines that govern credit card operations of banks and affiliate credit card companies. They must observe legally permissible means to encourage payment from debtors.  To protect the interest of the general public, the Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) issued Circular No. 454 which covers, in detail, the definitions of Unfair Collection Practices and how such collection must be conducted by banks and their collection agencies.

Below are excerpts on this particular regulation, lifted exactly from the said BSP document, describing in detail what are considered as unfair collection practices.

  1. The use or threat of violence or other criminal means to harm the physical person, reputation, or property of any person.
  2. The use of obscenities, insults, or profane language which amount to a criminal act or offense under applicable laws.
  3. Disclosure of the names of credit cardholders who allegedly refuse to pay debts, with certain exceptions.
  4. Threat to take any action that cannot legally be taken.
  5. Communicating or threat to communicate to any person credit information which is known to be false, including failure to communicate that a debt is being disputed.
  6. Any false representation or deceptive means to collect or attempt to collect any debt or to obtain information concerning a cardholder.
  7. Making contact at unreasonable/inconvenient times or hours which shall be defined as contact before 6:00 a.m. or after 10:00 p.m., unless the account is past due for more than sixty (60) days or the cardholder has given express permission or said times are the only reasonable or convenient opportunities for contact.

Can I be imprisoned because of my debts?

According to a Filipino financial adviser (and you’ve probably heard this from other veteran credit card holders), no one has gone to jail because of unpaid credit card bills.  This does not mean that you are free to ignore your unpaid debts; remember, you are obligated to settle your accounts sooner than later.  And although you won’t end up in prison, your credit score will be negatively affected the longer you leave your accounts unpaid.  Estafa, on the other hand, is a different case and is not covered by this article.

How do I get these abusive collectors off my back?

Apart from finally settling your overdue accounts, you may rid your phone of “unwanted callers” by reporting abusive collectors to the BSP Financial Consumer Protection Department at 02 – 708 – 7087 or by sending an email to consumeraffairs@bsp.gov.ph.

Any form of abuse must not be tolerated and the BSP has ensured that due respect must be afforded to debtors even in the process of collecting the needed settlement from them.  We are likewise enjoined to uphold the law by being responsible with our financial obligations, especially those made with banks, lending companies, and the like.

Sources:

http://www.bsp.gov.ph

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03 - 21

Last year, we featured the announcement on vacationing OFWs’ exemption from filing an OEC if they are returning to the same employers abroad.  This took effect on the first week of September of the same year.  Included in the privilege is the OFW’s exemption from paying travel taxes and terminal fees when exiting the country as covered by Section 35 of RA 8042 (Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipino Act).

There are rampant cases, however, where these fees are incorporated in the cost of the airline ticket bought by OFWs online or over the counter.  And in order for them to “refund” the paid fees, they have to line up at the airport.  Most OFWs are not aware of this or do not have the luxury of time to wait in line for their reimbursement.

Good news!

Starting April 30, 2017, the P550 terminal fee will automatically be waived for OFWs purchasing tickets over the counter; the same will be extended to online ticket purchases by the end of July 2017.  This means that departing OFWs no longer need to go through the process of “refunding” terminal fees that are supposedly incorporated in the price of the tickets they purchased!

Not just for OFWs

The exemption is extended to other Pinoy travelers such as pilgrims, Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) delegates, and other Filipinos authorized by law and the Office of the President to travel outside the Philippines.

Meanwhile, the Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration is appealing to have the unreturned fees (those not refunded by OFWs) accounted for and returned to the OWWA who stands as Trustee of OFWs.

Share this news with your OFW friends and relatives!

Source:

http://www.rappler.com/nation/164286-ofws-automatic-exemption-airport-terminal-fee-april-july

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