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Philippine mission denies allegations.

Summary: The Philippine Consulate General in Dubai, on Monday, denied allegations that notarising the Affidavit of Support and Guarantee has been imposed as a 'money-making scheme'

The Philippine Consulate General in Dubai, on Monday, denied allegations that notarising the Affidavit of Support and Guarantee has been imposed as a 'money-making scheme'

DUBAI -- The Philippine Consulate General in Dubai, on Monday, denied allegations that notarising the Affidavit of Support and Guarantee (AoS & G) has been imposed as a 'money-making scheme' by the diplomatic missions and urged the Filipino organisations to come to the Consulate for a peaceful discussion and resolution of their concerns.

Vice-Consul Gerry Soliguin released the statement in answer to the call of the representatives of the Alliance of Overseas Filipino Workers Against AoS (Affidavit of Support), which symbolically crumpled and trashed copies of the AoS on Friday to dramatise their demand to scrap the requirement.

Introduced last year, the affidavit of support and guarantee is required to be presented to the immigration officials at the Philippine airports by Filipinos bound for Dubai on visit visa. Filipino expatriates want it to be scrapped because it is not a requirement of the UAE government to enter Dubai.

Soliguin said that all fees received by the Consulate and any Philippine diplomatic missions do not go to them. "All the fees the Consulate receives from its notary functions are reverted to the National Treasury of the Philippines. We operate according to law, and the expenses of the Consulate should not go beyond what is appropriated to it by the General Appropriations Act (GAA), which the Philippine lawmakers approved."

"It is wrong to think that the Consulate is enriched with fees paid by those who come to notarise their documents, including the AoS & G. All these fees belong to the national government and cannot be touched nor spent nor used automatically by the Consulate," he explained.

He also reiterated the fact that the affidavit of support and guarantee is not the Consulate's requirement but that of the Bureau of Immigration Department's (BID). "We have been explaining many times that what the Consulate does is to authenticate the documents submitted to us for attestation. We cannot refuse anyone who comes for document notarisation. Neither does the Consulate compel anyone to come and authenticate their documents. These organisations are barking at the wrong tree."

Vice-Consul Soliguin reiterated his invitation to those organisations with legitimate concerns to come to the Consulate for peaceful discussion. "No issues, no matter how big, that cannot be resolved in a peaceful meeting. If we have problems and concerns that we want to reach to the Philippine government, the best way is to come to the Consulate and we will talk it out together. My office is open to help them."

He hoped that anything the Filipino expatriates want can be resolved if they are discussed. "It is not just the Consulate that they denounce. What they are doing has put our country in a bad light. I urge everyone to come."

lily@khaleejtimes.com

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Publication:Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Oct 11, 2011
Words:519
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