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Philippine ban workaround or bad idea?

Discussion in 'Philippine Paradise Divers' started by GirlonFire, Mar 3, 2020.

  1. GirlonFire

    GirlonFire Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: California
    A friend posed an interesting question: the Philippines is restricting travelers from affected areas but this does not apply to Philippine nationals.
    As a dual citizen, (US and Philippines) who lives in the US, should he travel using his Philippine passport if transiting through an affected area?

    I would think having the protection of the US overrides permission to enter.

    Any thoughts?
    Blueringocto_73 likes this.
  2. michael-fisch

    michael-fisch ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Finally Lake City FL
    The assumed protection of having a US passport is vastly overrated. If you get in any trouble, the assistance of US consular officers almost guarantees you will be in more serious trouble, even doing time that you would not have had to do without their assistance.

  3. CuriousRambler

    CuriousRambler Contributor

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Montana
    This is kind of a ridiculous statement. I fully agree that there's little to no intrinsic protection in having a US passport. Couldn't agree more, honestly. Thinking your US passport "protects you" is akin to thinking you can't get HIV because you have a condom in your wallet.

    Michael, forgive me if I mis-interpreted your statement, but saying US consular offices will make a problem worse is even more ignorant than thinking your passport will protect you. I believe this if you're heading into a failed state, or a third world port of entry that's so far off the map that "people just disappear." Believe it or not, most nations on earth - yes, even the remote ones, and the ones who aren't huge fans of the US - play nice when things get political. I'll grant you the "gray area" between the time you say "I would like to contact my embassy" and the time the embassy/consulate is able to react could get uncomfortable, IF you're dealing with a less-than-respectable crew of folks. But that takes me back to "why did you put yourself in that position to begin with?" and still remains quite unlikely.

    I happen to know several US Consular officers personally. Some of them have been doing the job longer than I've been making mistakes. They rotate to new locations/countries regularly, meaning an average career can easily present a dozen or more countries to a consular officer. I had dinner a couple of weeks ago with a friend who happens to be the current chief consular officer for a country with a rather troubled and violent recent history, and experience in the same job in more countries than I've even seen from an airplane window. I asked for an opinion about the advice of "clam up and cry for your embassy," in regards to Michael's statement that consulate involvement can make things worse. Keep in mind, the US diplomatic service may be large by global standards, but it's a rather small number of individuals, and is a surprisingly small community. Without hesitating, she was able to identify every situation a consulate's involvement had a perceived negative impact on a situation. There were so few she's even heard of, she could remember each one individually. She was quick to point out 99% of her job is helping to coordinate adoptions, immigrations, and visas, and rarely to never is it helping someone out of a legal bind.

    I can hear it already, "Oh but she probably didn't hear about the worst of them!" Do you honestly believe the consulate/embassy is going to not follow up with a citizen after an incident that was bad enough to require their involvement in the first place?

    I agree, involving your consulate might result in an extra night or two in jail while the politics play out. You may have been able to simply talk your way out of the same situation in a couple of hours with smiles, courteous cooperation, and maybe some "taxes" paid. But I don't believe for a moment that a phone call to my consulate is going to result in an extra month in a circus cage. And what "more serious trouble?" You're suggesting they're going to levy murder charges, or plant something to say you were smuggling it in now that you've elevated the issue? Generally speaking, once the consulate is involved, everybody plays strictly by the rules and ensures nobody's beating you, starving you, etc. because nobody wants that visibility. Saying otherwise is simply ignorant fearmongering, unless you'd care to share enough first-hand examples to be statistically significant, and not just one or two bad-luck situations where things went badly?

    As I said, treating your US passport as if it protects you from anything is simply irresponsible and poor planning. Proactively avoid bad situations to the best of your ability. If you find yourself in one, do all you can to de-escalate and resolve the situation with a smile on your face. That advice works regardless of what passport you're carrying.

    @GirlonFire - assuming having a passport qualifies one as "a national," then your friend has the right. Unless I'm mistaken, simply having a US passport affords you any "protections" one might believe in. So even if your friend traveled on a Philippine passport and found himself in a situation where he needed to utilize the US embassy, it's still available to him by virtue of being a US citizen. Personally, if I were in his shoes, I'd use whichever passport I felt was most likely to give me the lowest profile anywhere I went and not think twice about the "what if" stuff. Again, I'd rather avoid attention and any risk of escalating a situation before I even leave my house, then there's no situation that will need resolution. If he's really concerned, travel on the Philippine passport and log the travel ahead of time with the US Bureau of Consular Affairs' STEP program. Then if travel restrictions swing the other way while he's out and about, he's not lost in the wind.
  4. pasley

    pasley Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Lakewood, CA
    So here in the USA if stopped by the police you can whip out your Philippine Passport and be exempted from our laws? No? then you have your answer.

    When traveling to another country it is wise to remember the old saying "Where ever you are.....there you are". You are (just as foreign travelers to the USA are) subject to the laws of the country you are in. A US Passport is the document you use to ask permission to enter their country and does not accord you any special exemption from their laws and may even give you less protection under their laws than that given to their citizens.

    The Philippines is a Sovereign Nation and you have no rights beyond that which they choose to give you, if any. Many a US Citizen is shocked to learn that they have no right to remain silent, to council or to innocent until proven guilty, no protection from cruel or unusual punishment (canning, hanging by being pulled up off the ground by a crane, beheading, having a hand chopped off etc) in other nations around the world.

    By the way, the restriction on travel to certain areas of any country imposed by that country are there for a reason. Do you really want to go someplace where they are trying to contain something (virus or armed conflict)? Pause for a moment and think about that.
  5. tursiops

    tursiops Marine Scientist and Master Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: U.S. East Coast
    I thought the US did not recognize dual citizenship.
  6. lowwall

    lowwall Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Chicago
    From the US Department of State - Dual Nationality

    The concept of dual nationality means that a person is a national of two countries at the same time. Each country has its own nationality laws based on its own policy. Persons may have dual nationality by automatic operation of different laws rather than by choice. For example, a child born in a foreign country to U.S. national parents may be both a U.S. national and a national of the country of birth. Or, an individual having one nationality at birth may naturalize at a later date in another country and become a dual national.

    U.S. law does not mention dual nationality or require a person to choose one nationality or another. A U.S. citizen may naturalize in a foreign state without any risk to his or her U.S. citizenship. However, persons who acquire a foreign nationality after age 18 by applying for it may relinquish their U.S. nationality if they wish to do so. In order to relinquish U.S. nationality by virtue of naturalization as a citizen of a foreign state, the law requires that the person must apply for the foreign nationality voluntarily and with the intention to relinquish U.S. nationality. Intent may be shown by the person’s statements and conduct.

    Dual nationals owe allegiance to both the United States and the foreign country. They are required to obey the laws of both countries, and either country has the right to enforce its laws. It is important to note the problems attendant to dual nationality. Claims of other countries upon U.S. dual-nationals often place them in situations where their obligations to one country are in conflict with the laws of the other. In addition, their dual nationality may hamper efforts of the U.S. Government to provide consular protection to them when they are abroad, especially when they are in the country of their second nationality.

    U.S. nationals, including dual nationals, must use a U.S. passport to enter and leave the United States. [emphasis in original source] Dual nationals may also be required by the foreign country to use its passport to enter and leave that country. Use of the foreign passport to travel to or from a country other than the United States is not inconsistent with U.S. law.
    tridacna and CuriousRambler like this.
  7. JustSurfaceInterval

    JustSurfaceInterval ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Germany
    Iowwall already did the search.
    The important sentence is
    In addition, their dual nationality may hamper efforts of the U.S. Government to provide consular protection to them when they are abroad, especially when they are in the country of their second nationality.
    That means that when in the country of the second nationality, the person will be treated as a local and the consular protection of the first country will no longer exist or will be difficult to provide.
    I know of a similar disclosure by German Consular Service in regard to dual national German/Egyptian nationality clearly stating that when in Egypt, you will be an Egyptian and treated like an Egyptian.

    ... and you will have to walk like...
    sorry, couldn't resist...:yeahbaby:
  8. lowwall

    lowwall Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Chicago
    Speaking of Egyptians, what about this apparent dual national?

    Born in Arizona,
    Moved to Babylonia (King Tut)
    Dancin' by the Nile, (Disco Tut)
    The ladies love his style, (Waltzing Tut)
  9. CuriousRambler

    CuriousRambler Contributor

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Montana
    Interesting stuff here, I wasn't aware of the complications of dual citizenship, or the requirement to use a US passport for entry/exit of the US if you have multiple.
  10. Jay

    Jay Need to dive more!

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Melbourne, OZ.
    Not exactly your question but this article may be of interest: Philippines partially lifts ban on Filipino tourists bound for South Korea

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