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Cebuandrew

Immigration office--no logic there

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Cebuandrew

Had a last minute whim to leave the Country over the holidays, so yesterday I went to Mandaue immigration for my ECC. I've dealt with this office many times before. Last February, it took 1-hour and p500 for an ECC there. Takes them 2-4 minutes to run a name, take that name and paste it on their standard form, and print it out. No stickers or anything to do with one's passport. Easily the simplest procedure they do. Got there at 9:15 and it was as empty I've ever seen. Only half the seats were taken. Filled out the form, turned it in, and waited. And waited. People were coming and going. An hour and 45 minutes and they called my name. Told me to come back in 7 days to pick it up. And this became the first time I've ever argued with them (I know, I know...not good).

Still, I kept a normal tone and calmly explained the obvious: "I understand you no longer have an express lane, but ECC's NEVER have had an express lane fee, so they never needed that service. And you don't need my passport, as you're not putting a sticker in it. I wish to leave this Country in 2 days, I've obeyed all of your laws, so please allow my freedom of movement." The girl went in the back, came out a few minutes later with that "problem solved" smile, and said she just needed to see my plane ticket to go print out my ECC. This was the proverbial what came first, the chicken or the egg? I'm not buying a plane ticket without knowing for sure that I can use it. "So, if I can show you my ticket, you can go print my ECC, otherwise, it will take 7 days to do that?" Yes, she said...come back next Friday. Total cost: p713

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Woolf

If on tourist status, one can get the ECC at the airport, if

been in Philippines less than one year and plane leave in less than 24 hours

pretty sure the above is correct, no time now to check it up

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