Credit: Team Rave Facebook
The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and the Bureau of Immigration (BI) did not allow Team Rave to fly to South Korea last week. The Pinoy DOTA 2 team claims that they have all the required documents. But according to the BI, the visa that the team members have is not valid.
On a Facebook post by Rave Team member Jio “Jeyo” Madayag on Friday, April 3, he said that three of his team mates were stopped from boarding the plane even if they had all the required legal documents. He added that they were asked to obtain unnecessary documents and that they should pay for them.
“April 1st we were notified that with the time given we will be unable to obtain US visa’s for our 3 Filipino players…You could see our dedication by even paying out of our own pockets so we can get everyone here to Korea and train and try their hardest for these matches by April 3rd.” Jeyo Madayag wrote.
“Now this morning I have received news from my team mates that they have been able to go through Philippine immigration, but with a lot of questions asked…the immigration officers went inside the plane to tell my players to leave the plane, as they do not have the necessary documents to fly back to Korea.” Jeyo added.
The three Rave Team members who were barred are Mark “Cast” Pilar, Djardel “Chrissy” Mampusti and Ryo “ryOyr” Hasegawa. Because of the incident, Senator Bam Aquino said that he wants the BI and POEA to explain why they prevented the DOTA 2 players from going to South Korea.
“They have traveled several times to South Korea using the same documents they presented in the past without any hitch. Suddenly, they were barred from leaving without any valid reason.” Senator Bam Aquino said on his official website, adding that his office will provide assistance to the team.
“Government should be able to provide an environment where our athletes, online or offline, be able to hone their skills, compete in world class competitions, and give honor and pride to our country,” The senator added, noting that the timing was very bad as the training was very crucial for the online athletes.
On the other hand, the Bureau of Immigration issued an official statement regarding this issue. According to them, the three Rave Team members used Korean E-6 visas, a working visa issued to people who are looking for opportunities abroad to make money through entertainment, sports, and the like.
“The BI implements the Guidelines on departure formalities issued by the Inter Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT). Under Part II of the guidelines, Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) must possess an Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) upon departure”, BI spokesperson Elaine Tan said.
“We are coordinating with the POEA to make the process easier for the public, so as not to cause any inconvenience to the travelers. Right now, we must implement the guidelines”, Tan added. The BI also reminded all Filipinos who plan to leave the country about the rules and regulations when securing a visa.
Meanwhile, the OEC visa requirement problem has caused the Rave team to be not included in the upcoming competition in Bucharest, Romania. It can be remembered that last February, the same team of cyber athletes won $150,000 (around P6.6 million) after landing at fifth place in the 2015 Dota 2 Asia Championships in Shanghai, China.
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