|BI warns alien athletes, entertainers not to play, perform in RP sans permit|
DECEMBER 3, 2011
The Bureau of Immigration (BI) warned yesterday professional foreign athletes and entertainers that they have to secure a special work permit (SWP) from the bureau before they could play or perform in the Philippines, or they will be sanctioned for violating the country’s immigration laws.
Immigration Commissioner Ricardo David Jr. reminded the professional foreign athletes and entertainers that they cannot engage in gainful activity in the country unless they obtained a work permit from the BI as required by the agency’s rules and regulations.
David said the BI has been enforcing the SWP requirement on foreign athletes and entertainers since 1999 when the bureau launched a crackdown against imports playing in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).
“Foreigners and promoters who do not comply with this requirement are liable for violating our immigration laws, thus they can be arrested, deported or fined by the bureau,” the BI chief stressed.
He explained that the requirement applies to all foreign athletes, including trainers and coaches, hired to play in any sports tournament and foreign entertainers, such as singers and dancers, scheduled to perform in concerts and television shows in the country.
Lawyer Grace Lara, BI chief of staff, said that in the case of foreign athletes, their SWP application should be endorsed by the organization or sports association that sponsored the competition.
As for foreign entertainers, Lara said they should be endorsed by the Asosasyon ng Musikong Pilipino (AMP), Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-aawit (OPM), Film Academy of the Philippines (FAP), or by the Filipino Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (FILSCAP).
She pointed out that the documentary requirements for an SWP are very simple as the applicant needs only to submit a letter-request from his or her petitioning employer, copy of passport with updated stay, and a BI certificate stating that the applicant has no derogatory record.
The employer shall also submit a written undertaking that all taxes due from the income of the applicant shall be withheld and remitted to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).
An SWP applicant is charged a total of P6,440 as payment for application, processing, service, legal research, express lane, and clearance certificate fees. ###