Last year, I had a terrible and traumatic experience with the Immigration officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). I was told by the officer that I could not board the plane to Japan for my ENIT training because I was “hit”. Being “hit” meant that I was in the hold-departure list. At first I thought someone with the same name as mine had criminal records… but then, a realization struck me! Those horror stories were true… One of my classmates in my Master’s in IT who was also on CHED scholarship once told me that he was held at the airport because of CHED’s hold departure order. I kept this story in mind but was relieved when I got my NBI clearance without being “hit”. Yey, I was not on the list! And I thought I'd live happily ever after. Haha.
But, alas, doomsday came. I panicked and thought about what could be the reason why I am being held… could it be the DOST (PhiSci) scholarship or CHED? However at that moment, I didn’t have the luxury of time to assess whether it was DOST’s or CHED’s ghost chasing me. I only had to focus on how I could board that plane… Luckily, the immigration officers told me that I could ask my friends at MSU to send my travel order through fax since I reasoned that I will only be out of the country for a 3-week training. Good thing I had a bunch of reliable and helpful friends at MSU-GenSan who helped me and I was able to successfully get on board to Japan.
Until now, I could not forget the faces of the immigration officers and NAIA guards. The stern look on their faces warning me that it was my first and last time to go abroad without any clearance from DOST or CHED. They gave me a sermon on how iskolars ng bayan (scholars) should pay back to the government after having enjoyed the benefits of the scholarship. So, now that I am about to go abroad again, I BADLY need that CLEARANCE!!! I called Pisay Davao to ask how I could get cleared from my obligations to Pisay and DOST. Our sweet registrar told me that Pisay has already lifted our travel ban a long time ago. Yes! DOST-PhilSci eliminated from the list of suspects! Hehe.. And that leaves CHED as the primary suspect. Aha!
So I went to CHED (Davao)’s office last November 5, 2010 to inquire about how I could get my clearance. Fortunately, the people there were friendly and accommodating. One of them gave me the email ad of the contact person in Manila who knows the requirements for the clearance. And these are:
1. request letter
2. certified true copy of diploma and TOR
3. certification of completed return service obligation duly signed by the head of office of the sending institution.
Whew! I didn’t know there were a lot of requirements. I thought I only needed the certificate of employment. Huhu.. Poor me! So, I got to go now and try to satisfy all the requirements. By the way, you have to submit these documents to CHED 2 weeks before departure date…
Here is CHED’s address:
Faculty Development Program-II
Commission on Higher Education
Ground Floor, Higher Education Dev’t Center
Corner University – C.P. Garcia Avenues,
University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City