No Need to Show Printed Plane Tickets in Philippine Airports


The Bureau of Immigration (BI) in the Philippines has lifted its rule that requires passengers in airports to present their printed plane tickets when leaving the country, the Department of Justice (DOJ) recently announced.NAIA

(Photo Source:

The DOJ said in a statement that passengers may now leave the country by simply presenting electronic copies of their tickets in smart phones or tablets instead of hard copies of tickets to BI counters at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport terminals and all other international airports in the country.

The Philippines Expat Advisor - No Need to Show Printed Plane Tickets in Philippine Airports

The new policy is by virtue of Operations Order No. SBM-2013-003 entitled “Removing the Requirement of Presentation of the Printed Hard Copy of Return and/or Onward Passage Ticket,” which was approved last Aug. 12.

The DOJ said the new policy is effective immediately. “This is another step to improve access to basic government services. We shall continue to work with all stakeholders to inject common sense and process logic into our systems,” Justice Secretary Leila de Lima explained. (source:

Kudo's to the Department of Justice and the Bureau of Immigration for adopting such a progressive policy. Though, I personally do not own a smart phone or tablet at this time, and have not gone back to the States since my arrival over four years ago, this new policy is welcome news. 

Author: The Kano

POST AUTHOR: "THE KANO." Dave DeWall, "The Kano", is the Publisher & Editor-in-Chief of "Philippines Plus" in publication since August 2009. He is also the CEO of Lizard Poop Productions and author of the best-selling guide book "The Philippines Expat Advisor." Dave moved to the Philippines in July 2009 from Central Illinois with his lovely wife of over 19 years, "The Sainted Patient Wife." The couple reside in a rural province in Western Visayas, Guimaras. The small island province is said to have the sweetest mangoes in the world. They do not have any children but are the proud owners of eight active canines, including a Belgian Shepherd called "Killer" "Killer" has bitten five people in the last two years along with one goat and a carabao. "Killer" doesn't like strangers. Or goats. Or carabaos.

12 thoughts on “No Need to Show Printed Plane Tickets in Philippine Airports

  1. Ditto on no smartphone, but I do have a Nexus 7 e-reader that is fully WiFi enabled and would likely be in your hands during a plane trip anyway.  Full web access and the relevant documents would be easy to show.

    I recommend it.  It's very cheap.  And . . . I typed this message on it.

    1. Dave,

      I still would prefer to use a hard copy rather than electronic copy. We are heading to Macau tommorrow by ferry for the last leg of our trip. We are tired because we have been busy all day everyday on this vacation. Looking forward to getting back to the Philippines. Having a great time seeing everything though

      1. I’m old school, Papa Duck, and will go with the hard copy, too, whenever I travel in the future. 

        Sounds like Anne and you have been quite the world travelers. I’m sure you both will be glad to get back home. Take care. 


    2. Thanks for the tip, Owen. I am going to purchase some sort of portable device before we move to Guimaras. I won’t have internet access at our location and will be at the mercy of the local internet cafes. There are, however, establishments that do have WiFi. 



  2. Nod.  The Nexus 7 and Kindle's latest version essentially compete head to head and are somewhat interchangeable.  Both have blown the IPad mini away.  Nexus is loaded with Google+ links and of course Kindle won't let you move without Amazon popping up. 

    It's almost a coin flip, but the Nexus is more purely Android and has just a tiny bit more flexibility.  I have a zillion ebooks on it now that when I'm doing nothing else I set it to upload to a cloud account so I'll have them if there's theft or breakage. 

    They are cheap.  If one breaks or is stolen, it's only a few hundred dollars.  Compare that to IPad, and frankly the Nexus is better.  I have a leather case on mine.  I could probably drop it safely.  Not planning on that test tho.

    1. Well, that gives me something to think about, Owen. I’ll have to have a handheld device so I can continue to check on comments on the website via a WiFi location rather than use an Internet cafe everyday. There are several WiFi locations within a short walking distance of our future location in Guimaras. Sounds like the Nexus is a great choice. Lots of folks selling dubious rip-offs of the Ipad and Iphone in the downtown Delgado area of Iloilo. I just smile and wave the vendors away. 

  3. Don't have a smart phone or tablet and I am not planning on leaving the Philippines anytime soon. I am old school. Like having a hard copy with me. Well to be honest I am just OLD. 😛

    I am having trouble subscribing to updates on posts. HELP!!!

    1. I’ll have to go to a tablet or smartphone as I remarked to Owen, Gary, in order to keep the website updated. I’m “old school,” also, but I’m hoping this old dog can learn some new tricks. 😛

      I’ll check out the news feed on the new theme, Gary, and you’ll hopefully get updates to new posts. The plug-in subscription to new comments, however, has been suspended. I was told it was not working properly and have discontinued it. 

  4. I must be living in another time zone or something. As many times as I have entered the Philippines, I have never had to show plane ticket. When entering my wife and I step up together and show our passport and the only thing they ask is how long we are staying and if we want a B&B stamp just incase we change our minds on staying.The only time we have shown a ticket is to get into terminal when leaving. After checking in with airline, only thing we shown was boarding pass to get on airline.

    1. It’s the ongoing “throw away” ticket, issue, George. Let me quote Mindanao Bob who had an excellent article on this topic: 


      “The law has been in place for years.  As a tourist, when you enter the Philippines, you are required to have an on-going ticket, showing that you intend to leave the country.

      A lot of people think that you need a “return ticket” or a “round trip” ticket.  This is incorrect.  You are not required to have a ticket going back to where you came from.  You are supposed to have any ticket that takes you out of the Philippines, though.  You can have a ticket to Thailand, Malaysia, wherever, but you are supposed to have some ticket taking you out of the Philippines.”

      Here’s the LINK to Bob’s article.


      1. I think I get it now. If you are a tourista on a visa you are required to have on going ticket or return so Philippines doesn't end up supporting you.But if you are married not needed for one year. I wonder if my super duty Philippine driver license and property tax certificate will get me in without an onward ticket.? I have found that Asiana Airlines will supposesly allow you to change your return time 3 times with in year before they charge you. Not like PAl who trys to suck every nickel out of you that they can.

        1. George, the Philippine governent, along with other governments, requires airlines to check their passengers for onward tickets. If the passenger arrives in the Philippines without a round trip ticket, or “throw away” ticket to Singapore, for example, that airline could face hefty fines from the government. A round trip ticket to the Philippines is not necessary. 

          I’ve never been asked to show my onward ticket. Many expats haven’t either, but the Immigration Officers at NAIA can ask you for it. Here’s what the official Philippine Bureau of Immigration website had to say on the matter back on July 22, 2012:

          JULY 22, 2012

                      The Bureau of Immigration (BI) will start imposing administrative fines on airlines that allow foreign tourists bound for the Philippines to board their plane even if they do not have return tickets.
                      Immigration Commissioner Ricardo David Jr. said he already instructed the BI airport operations division to fine any airline that permits a foreign tourist to board its aircraft without a return ticket before flying to the Philippines .
          David stressed that it should be the responsibility of the airlines to see to it that all its passengers who are traveling as tourists have procured the necessary return tickets.
          He said the requirement on return tickets for tourists is an international rule that is practiced and implemented in almost all other countries in the world.


          “This rule is meant to guarantee that a tourist will leave the host country before the lapse of his stay as a temporary visitor,” the BI chief explained.
          David said he has instructed immigration officers and their supervisors in the different ports of entry to strictly implement the rule on arriving foreign tourists.
                      He said those who do not have return tickets will be excluded and sent back to their port of origin.
                      Atty. Ma. Antonette Mangrobang, BI spokesperson and acting intelligence chief, explained that under Sec. 29 of the immigration act, aliens who arrived as tourists but do not have valid return or onward tickets shall be automatically excluded.
                      Mangrobang, however, stressed that Balikbayans, who are also considered tourists but are admitted for one year, are exempted from the rule in deference to the fact that they are former citizens of the Philippines .

                      She added that although the exclusions have inconvenienced the excluded passengers, the immigration bureau has no choice but to implement the law.

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