The Philippines blacklisted an American from the country after he wrote an expletive on his immigration form
16.11.2023 - 05:46
An American tourist was banned from entering the Philippines after he wrote "profane" words in his digital immigration form on November 7, the Inquirer, a local outlet, reported, citing the Bureau of Immigration.
Anthony Joseph Laurence, the tourist, arrived at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila and wrote false information on his e-travel pass, per the report.
"After verifying in our system, the officer discovered that the passenger keyed in a made-up address in the Philippines, did not include his full name, and inputted profane words in his entry," Norman Tansingco, the Bureau of Immigration's commissioner, told the Inquirer.
Laurence, 34, traveled to Manila from Bangkok, Thailand, the Philippine News Agency reported, citing the Bureau of Investigation.
When Laurence arrived at NAIA, an immigration officer reminded him to complete his e-travel form, Tansingcosaid. Laurence responded by throwing his passport and phone at the officer, Tangsico added.
On a phone call with Business Insider, Laurence denied throwing his passport and phone. "I handed him my passport. I didn't throw it at him, that was a lie. And then I turned my phone around so that he could see the QR code."
Laurence told BI he is an investor and has lived in Cebu, a city 350 miles southeast of Manila, for two years. He said he owns property in Cebu and has traveled in and out of the Philippines six or seven times in the last two years. BI has not been able to independently verify his profession, home ownership, or travel history.
"I entered an expletive into the form that wasn't directed at anyone," Laurence said. He declined to share what he wrote in the form with BI.
"I made a mistake in not properly filling out the form but I do not believe that this mistake warrants a person of permanent ban, permanent blacklisting," he said.
"We expect all individuals to conduct themselves with respect and adhere to the established procedures. Any violation of these procedures will be dealt with firmly," Tansingco said.
The Philippines requires all travelers to fill out an e-travel card at least 72 hours before their arrival and departure, according to the government's official website.
Some 44 tourists were banned from entering the Philippines so far this year for abusing immigration officers, per Inquirer, citing the Bureau of Immigration.In 2019, over eight million tourists visited the country. In the same year, 180 foreigners — including 10 US citizens — were banned from entering the country after behaving poorly towards airport officials.
The Bureau of Immigration did not immediately respond to a request for comment.