Bureau of Immigration (BI) Discriminates Against Deaf Passenger

Last October 4, Franklin Galano Corpuz was set to fly to Qatar via Qatar Airways QR 645 for orientation and business training with a company that has a program specifically for Persons with Disabilities or PWD. Mr. Corpuz is Deaf. In addition to the training he will gain, the said program leads to eventual employment. Franklin is skilled in cooking as well as making bread and baking pastries. He is also a professional driver and has worked with Sunshine Supermarket and Hotel Veniz in Baguio City . He is married and is the husband of the current Philippine Federation for the Deaf President, Mrs. Raquel Corpuz.
At the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), after checking in, Franklin was accompanied by a Qatar Airways flight attendant to the Immigrations counter. Upon being told by the flight attendant that Mr. Corpuz is Deaf, the Immigrations counter officer directed him to the Bureau of Immigrations Office. Mr. Corpuz presented the following personal supporting papers:
* Affidavit of Support from Al Mana Interiors
* Invitation letter for the business training
* Visa from the Minister of Interior of the State of Qatar

He was interviewed by a male Immigrations officer who informed him that he will be disallowed to leave for Qatar because he is “deaf and therefore CANNOT SPEAK. Mr. Franklin Corpuz was then asked to leave the airport.
A call was made to the NAIA Immigrations Office. Ms. Gladys Castillo and Mr. Jeff Ignacio (administrative staff) received this call. They said that as a matter of policy, they are not allowed to release the name of the Immigrations Officer who interviewed Mr. Corpuz. Furthermore, Ms. Castillo said that any letter of complaint regarding this incident may be addressed and sent to Atty. Ronaldo Ledesma, OIC of the Bureau of Immigrations. Mr. Ignacio, on the other hand, added that in their Indicator Checklist for Offloading, the remarks were as follows: “No sufficient proof that his trip is for business to Qatar considering that he is deaf and mute. He said that it was not specified as to what proof or documentation was lacking.
We ask you to send a letter protesting the discrimination shown by the Bureau of Immigration (BID) to a Deaf person. A Deaf person shares equal rights with any Hearing person and should be protected by the State in the fulfillment of his rights.

LETTERS OF PROTEST may be sent to:

Atty. Ronaldo Ledesma OIC Bureau of Immigrations Magallanes Drive , Intramuros

Department Of Justice Action Center Attn: Romeo D. Galvez dojac@doj.gov.ph and soj@doj.gov.ph or by fax to 521-1614

CONTACT INFORMATION DEAF PASSENGER: Franklin Corpuz c/o Marites Racquel Corpuz at 0927-4038348 (text only)

Deirdre Joyce C. Dalawampu Coordinator for Communications and Production Program Center for Partnership and Development DLS-CSB SDEAS
I was with some advertising colleagues earlier this week and we were talking about the daily crap foisted upon us by incompetent government officials, corrupt law enforcers, unscrupulous businessmen and whoever. During that impromptu meeting, someone suggested that we ...fight back with our cellphone cameras by recording these incidents and sharing these with our friends. If something negative [courtesy of the above-mentioned characters] upsets you (OR if something positive you've observed impresses you and is worth emulating), send a photo accompanied by a short description to adie.pena@gmail.com and I'd gladly post the item here in Facebook.
De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde
School of the Deaf and Applied Studies
Contact: Giselle Montero gisellemontero@gmail.com
Or Mrs. Liwanag Caldito Tel. 928-4182 Mobile 0916.7496139 Email liwcaldito@yahoo.com