Friday, October 20, 2006

Beware sa Padala

I recieved a forwarded email which I think is important to our US brothers and sisters that are planning to travel back to the Philippines.

This information is very alarming and I think it's worth sharing to save you from trouble and embarassment. A friend of mine who works for Homeland Security as Immigration Inspector at LAX just called me this morning to share the information that happened last weekend. A FIL-AM citizen who was flying back to the Philippines for vacation was apprehended by an Airport Immigration agent while she was checking in her baggage and going through the X-ray machine. For some reason, she was randomly Check a nd was told to open all the envelops inside her carry-on Coach bag. They found 10 envelops addressed to different people in the Philippines. When all the envelops were opened, a total of $11,000 cash was discovered. They asked the traveler if she knew the contents of the envelop. She said no, because all the envelops are just "padala" and the senders didn't tell her whether or not there is money inside. Immigration agents showed her a Policy and guidance stating that it is illegal to import and export over $10,000 in any Asean countries to avoid the possibility of supporting terrorism.

She was fined $500, red label her name by Immigration (means everytime she enter and exit the airport, she will be search 100%) and she also missed her scheduled flight to the Philippines for being held almost 5 hours. Hard to believe that departing passengers fm the U.S. are also subject to the policy but looks like it is being enforce now. The lessons learned is before you accept any "padala", make sure the envelops are open and you physically sight the contents of it or just plainly say sorry but I can't accept any padala for your own safety.

Ayan, kaya ingats.