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Rules and Regulations on the Phils. English as a Second Language (ESL)

RULES AND REGULATIONS IMPLEMENTING THE MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT ON THE PHILIPPINES ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE (ESL) TOUR PROGRAM

Pursuant to the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) executed by the Department of Tourism (DOT), the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the Bureau of Immigration (BI) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), on 27 September 2004, the following rules and regulations on the implementation of the Philippines English as a Second Language Tour Program are hereby promulgated.

Rule I. COVERAGE

These rules and regulations shall govern the provisions of the Memorandum of Agreement executed by the DOT, DFA, BI and TESDA on the implementation of the Philippines ESL Tour Program.

Rule II. BASIC POLICY

Cognizant of the Philippines' advantage being a country which uses English as a second language and the increasing influx of foreign tourists studying English in local universities and language centers, the Department of Tourism developed an aggressive promotional campaign dubbed as the Philippines ESL Tour Program to attract more tourists to learn English in the country.

RULE III. OBJECTIVES

The implementation of the Philippines ESL Tour Program shall be guided by the following objectives:

To make the Philippines a destination in Asia for learning English as a second language;

To develop tours combining English language courses with holiday/vacation activities;

To enrich student visitor's experience by providing opportunities for cultural immersion, thereby enhancing appreciation and understanding of Philippines culture;

To increase visitor arrivals by tapping the ESL market especially from China, Korea, Taiwan and Japan, thereby, contributing to the country's tourist receipts;

To offer English language courses in a relaxed atmosphere adopting interesting and dynamic methodologies for a more effective learning process; and

To encourage participation of the academe in foresting a highly competitive travel and learn English program in their respective language centers.

Rule IV. DEFINITION OF TERMS

For purposes of these rules and unless expressly provided otherwise:

Tour Operator shall mean a Philippine registered and accredited entity which may either be a single proprietorship, partnership or corporation regularly engaged in the business of extending to individuals or groups such services pertaining to arrangements and bookings for transportation and/or accommodation, handling and/or conduct of inbound tours whether or not for a fee, commission or any other form of compensation.

Accreditation shall mean a recognition given by the DOT to a duly registered and accredited Philippine tour operator and that the holder thereof can handle ESL tours.

Registration shall mean a recognition given by TESDA to all Technical, Vocational, Educational and Training (TVET) programs that comply with minimum standards prescribed in Training Regulations and anchored in competency based-system of TESDA.

Language Training Center shall mean a Philippine corporation registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that offers English courses registered with TESDA on a regular basis as well as ESL programs and authorized by BI to admit foreign students.

Special Study Permit (SSP) shall mean a Permit or Authority to study issued by the Bureau of Immigration (BI) to bonafide foreign tourist who wish to study in a non-degree course for less than one (1) year at a BI-authorized school with TESDA-registered program.

Letter of Guarantee is a letter addressed to the Philippine Foreign Service Post executed by the President/General Manager/Chief Executive Officer of a tour operator handling ESL tours stating that said tour operator shall be held liable should any member of the group tour fail to leave the Philippines with the group and that the tour operator shall be held accountable for administrative fines and such other sanctions as may be imposed as well as expenses that may be incurred in the repatriation of the said tour group member.

Philippine Foreign Service Post shall mean the Philippine Embassy or Consulate which exercises jurisdiction over the country where the ESL participant is a national or is a legal resident therein as well as over the country where the foreign tour operator’s main office is located.

Rule V. PROCEDURES FOR TOUR OPERATORS INTENDING TO PARTICIPATE IN THE PHILIPPINES ESL TOUR PROGRAM

Philippine registered tour operators who intend to handle ESL tour groups and individuals shall comply with the following requirements:

Tour operators shall first seek accreditation from the DOT in accordance with the latter's rules and regulations governing the accreditation of travel and tour services.

Upon payment of the required fees and the issuance by DOT of a certificate of accreditation, DOT shall include the tour operator in the list of DOT-accredited tour operators which DOT shall provide DFA on a monthly basis.

The accreditation issued to the tour operator by the DOT authorizing the former to handle ESL tours under these rules shall in no case extend beyond the period of validity of said tour operator's accreditation which the DOT issued pursuant to the latter's Rules and Regulations in the Accreditation of Tour Operators.

Foreign travel agencies intending to handle ESL tour groups shall submit the following documents to the concerned Philippine Foreign Service Post for inclusion in the list of foreign travel agencies authorized to handle ESL tour groups:

Contract or agreement between the Philippine tour operator and its counterpart foreign travel agency abroad, duly authenticated by the concerned Foreign Service Post, for the purpose of engaging in the Philippines ESL Tour Program;

Letter of Guarantee; and

Such other documents which may be required to establish their legitimate existence.
Tour operators who intend to engage in handling ESL tour group from the People's Republic of China shall still be governed by the provisions of the Memorandum of Agreement by and among the DOT, DFA and BI in the accreditation of Philippine Tour Operators Handling Tour Groups or Individuals from the People's Republic of China on 15 June 2000 as amended and its implementing rules and regulations.

Rule VI. PROCEDURES AND CONDITIONS FOR LANGUAGE CENTERS/SCHOOLS INTENDING TO PARTICIPATE IN THE PHILIPPINES ESL TOUR PROGRAM

Philippine registered language training centers/schools may participate in the Philippines ESL Tour Program subject to compliance with the following requirements:

To be included in the roster of DOT ESL partners, language training centers shall submit a letter to the DOT-OPRD and/or its concerned regional office expressing its intention to participate in the program together with certified copies of the following:

Profile of the Company

TESDA Certificate of Program Registration; and

BI authorization to admit foreign students in accordance with BI Administrative Order No. ADD 02-066.

Upon completion of requirements and agreement to the ESL rules and regulations, DOT desk shall issue a certification stating that it is a DOT ESL partner language center.

Language training center/schools shall only patronize DOT-accredited travel and tour service providers in the conduct of its ESL tour programs in the same manner that DOT-accredited tour operators shall only patronize language training centers/schools whose programs are registered in TESDA and authorized by the BI.

A website to be linked to the DOT homepage shall be maintained by partner language centers. The website shall have a dedicated webpage for the ESL tour program. Contents shall include, but not limited to the following:

a. information about the language center/school, e.g location, contact details, facilities and amenities offered (with photos) courses/programs offered with corresponding duration and schedule of fees

c. other services offered (with fees, if any)

d. ESL Tour packages (if any)

e. Procedure for enrollment or availing tours

Only those entities complying with the above requirements shall be included in the promotional materials and activities of the DOT. Likewise, DOT shall keep an updated roster of ESL partner language centers/institutions.

RULE VII: IMPLEMENTATION AND MONITORING

BI shall allow entry of ESL tour groups or individuals with duly issued visa handled by Philippine tour operators duly accredited under the provisions of these rules and regulations, provided that the tour operators shall submit to the BI a list of the names included in each tour at least two (2) working days before arrival.

DOT shall provide the DFA and BI on a monthly basis with a listing of DOT-accredited tour operators under these Rules. In turn, DFA shall also provide the DOT and BI with information regarding the names, addresses and contact particulars of travel agencies and tour operators abroad who are found to be lawfully operating and duly authorized by local or national authorities to handle outbound/ESL tour to the Philippines. BI shall inform DFA and DOT of its exclusion or deportation of any individual or persons belonging to the tour group who failed to comply with the entry requirements or terms and conditions of their stay, as well as the names of those who failed to return with the tour group in accordance with the original terms of their entry.

TESDA shall monitor the conduct of registered language programs in accordance with the rules and procedures set forth in the United TVET Registration and Accreditation System.

TESDA shall provide DOT, DFA and BI with a monthly listing of language centers with TESDA-registered programs. In turn, BI shall provide DOT, DFA and TESDA on a monthly basis with a list of BI-authorized language training centers/schools which shall include information re name of school/establishment, addresses and contact details.

RULE VIII: SANCTIONS

DOT shall cause the revocation of accreditation of any tour operator found to have violated any provision of the DOT rules and regulations governing the accreditation of tour operators and recommend to BI and DFA the delisting of the said tour operator.

DFA may recommend to DOT the cancellation of the accreditation of a Philippine tour operator whose foreign counterpart violates any of the provisions of these rule and regulations without prejudice to other administrative sanctions as well as criminal prosecutions for violation of immigration laws, rules and regulations.

Violation of these rules and regulations and or any terms and conditions of accreditation committed by the Philippine tour operators shall be a ground for blacklisting of such tour operators accredited in accordance with the provisions of these rules and regulations, including their officers, major stockholders or owner/s, and they shall therefore be barred by DOT, DFA and BI.

TESDA shall cause the cancellation of certificate of registration granted to language centers that fail to adhere to the requirements of the Unified TVET Program Registration and Accreditation System.

BI shall cause the exclusion or deportation of any individual or persons belonging to the group who fails to comply with entry requirements or the terms and conditions of their stay in the Philippines without prejudice to the prosecution of the concerned Philippine tour operator under the provisions of pertinent immigration laws, rules and regulation.

BI shall revoke the authorization of any language training center or learning institution that fails to comply with BI Memorandum Order No. ADD-02-006, without prejudice to the penal provision of Commonwealth Act No. 613, Section 46. Penal sanction shall also apply non-BI authorized language center that enrolls alien student who are subject of the said memorandum order.

DOT shall cease to promote the ESL tour programs offered by any tour operator and/or language training center found to be violating the provisions of these rules and regulations.

RULE IX: ISUANCE OF ADDITIONAL RULES

Each participating agency shall, whenever necessary, adopt its own internal guidelines in the implementation of these rules and regulations in accordance with the provisions of the MOA.

RULE X: SEPARABILITY CLAUSE

The provision of these rules and regulations are hereby declared separable, and in the event that one or more of such provisions are declared invalid, the validity of all other provisions shall not be affected thereby.

RULE XI: EFFECTIVITY

The rules and regulations shall take effect thirty (30) days after its publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation.

Done at Manila, Philippines, this 13th day of February, 2005


DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM


By:

EVELYN B. PANTIG, CESO I
Undersecretary

DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

By:


FRANKLIN M. EBDALIN
Undersecretary



BUREAU OF IMMIGARTION

By:


ALIPIO F. FERNANDEZ
Commissioner

TECHNICAL EDUCATION AND
SKILLS DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY

By:


SECRETARY AUGUSTO BOBOY SYJUCO
Director General

==================================================================

MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT
ON THE PHILIPPINES ESL TOUR PROGRAM

KNOW ALL MEN BY THESE PRESENTS:

This Agreement made and entered into this 27th day of September, 2004, by and among:


The DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM, a government agency, with principal address at the DOT building, T.M. Kalaw, Street, Ermita, Manila, represented by Undersecretary EVELYN B. PANTIG, hereinafter referred to as DOT;

The DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, a government agency with principal address at the DFA Building, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City, represented by Undersecretary JOSE S. BRILLANTES, hereinafter referred to as DFA;

The BUREAU OF IMMIGRATION, a government agency with principal address at the BI Building, Magallanes Drive, Intramuros, Manila, represented by Commissioner ALIPIO F. FERNANDEZ, JR., hereinafter referred to as the BI;

And

The TECHNICAL EDUCATION AND SKILLS DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY, a government agency with principal address at the TESDA Complex, East Service Road, South Superhighway, Taguig, Metro Manila, represented by its Deputy Director General SANTIAGO M. YABUT, JR., herein referred to as the TESDA;

WITNESSETH THAT:

WHEREAS, DFA is the instrumentality of the Philippine government which is primarily responsible for promoting and protecting the interests of the Philippines abroad, including the direction and coordination of all activities in pursuance of the economic diplomacy program of the government.

WHEREAS, BI is the government agency charged with full and final jurisdiction on immigration matters and, is principally responsible for the administration and enforcement of, among others, the entry and admission of aliens into the Philippines in accordance with the provisions of Commonwealth Act No. 613, as amended, otherwise known as The Philippine Immigration Act of 1940, and such other rules and regulations promulgated by it;

WHEREAS, TESDA is the government agency mandated to provide relevant, accessible, high quality and efficient technical education and skills development for middle level manpower;

WHEREAS, being a country which uses English as its second language, there have been a significant number of foreign tourists visiting the Philippines to study the English language which proves that the Philippines could be developed and promoted as the destination in Asia for learning English;

WHEREAS, realizing the advantage brought by the enthusiasm of said tourists to learn English during their sojourn in the country, the Dot developed an aggressive promotional and marketing strategy dubbed as the Philippines ESL Tour Program to promote and attract more tourists to learn English in the country;

WHEREAS, the parties recognize the need for coordinated efforts to ensure the efficient conduct of ESL tour programs vis-a -vis ensuring the participating tourists' compliance with the conditions of their authorized stay in the country;

NOW THEREFORE, for and in consideration of the foregoing premises, the parties hereby agree as follows:

COVERAGE

This MOA shall apply to Philippine registered and accredited tour operators handling ESL tour programs, including their foreign counterparts. Whatever services or programs that the tour operators or any other entities would have in regard to the ESL tour program may apply to foreign students who would like to avail of the program. This MOA will however, not affect the entity and stay of foreign students who wish to enroll in English language training courses outside the coverage of the tour program.

DEFINITION OF TERMS

For purposes of this MOA, and unless expressly provided otherwise:

ESL shall mean English as second language.

Tour Operator shall mean a Philippine registered and accredited entity which may either be a single proprietorship, partnership or corporation regularly engaged in the business of extending to individuals or groups such services pertaining to arrangements and bookings for transportation and/or accommodation, handling and/or conduct of inbound tours whether or not for a fee, commission or any other form of compensation.

Accreditation shall mean recognition given DOT the DOT to a duly registered and accredited Philippine tour operator and that the holder can handle ESL tours.

Registration shall mean a recognition given by TESDA to all Technical, Vocational, Educational and Training (TVET) programs that comply with minimum standards prescribed in Training Regulations and anchored in competency based-system of TESDA.

Inbound Tour shall mean a tour to or of the Philippines or any place within the Philippines.

Language Training Center shall mean a Philippine entity offering ESL programs registered by Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and authorized by BI to admit foreign students which shall be a corporation engaged in the business of providing English language courses on a regular basis.

Special Study Permit (SSP) shall mean a Permit or Authority to study issued by the Bureau of Immigration (BI) to bonafide foreign tourists who wish to study at a BI-authorized school with TESDA-registered program for the purpose of enrolling in a non-degree course for less than on (1) year.

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

The DOT shall:

Accredit such persons, corporations or any other entity which will engage in tour operation pursuant to its Rules and Regulations Governing the Accreditation of Travel and Tour Services.

Cause the revocation of the DOT accreditation of any tour operator found to have violated any provision of the DOT rules and regulations governing the accreditation of tour operators and recommend to BI and DFA the enforcement of appropriate sanctions against the said tour operator; and

Provide the BI and DFA with a monthly listing of DOT-accredited tour operators.

The DFA shall:

Issue appropriate visas to foreign students and/or visitors who wish to come to the Philippines as tourists/participants to an ESL Tour Program thru its Philippine Foreign Service Posts subject to the existing visa rules and regulations of DFA;

Through its Philippine Foreign Service Posts, certify or attest to the legitimacy of counterpart foreign tour wholesalers of authorized Philippine ESL tour operators, provided that such Philippine tour operators are accredited with the DOT;

Provide information regarding the names, addresses and contact particulars of travel agencies and tour operators abroad duly authorized to handle outbound/ ESL tours to the Philippines;

Authenticate the contract/agreement (if any) between the Philippine tour operators and the respective foreign travel agencies which will engage in ESL tour program.

Require the submission of a Letter of Guarantee from Philippine tour operators catering to ESL tour groups whose participants do not enjoy visa-free entry privilege to the Philippines. The Letter of Guarantee would hold tour operators liable under existing Philippine Laws if they fail to repatriate any member of the tour group after the conclusion of their tour.

The BI shall:

Pursuant to BI Office Memorandum Order No. ADD-02-006, issue authority to admit foreign students to language centers whose program is registered with TESDA.

Allow the entry of ESL tour groups or individuals handled by duly accredited Philippine tour operators and issue Special Study Permit for ESL visitors or a group study permit for tour groups within 2-5 days upon filing application.

Cause the exclusion or deportation of any individual or group of persons belonging to the tour group of a duly accredited local tour operator who fails to comply with entry requirements or terms and conditions of their stay, without prejudice to the imposition of other applicable penalties under Philippine laws.

The TESDA shall:

Register English as a Second Language program of language centers and other providers subject to the requirements of the Unified TVET Program Registration and Accreditation System.

Monitor the conduct of registered language programs.

Provide BI, DFA and DOT on a regular basis a listing of TESDA accredited language training centers.

MONITORING

All parties shall ensure that the requirements, terms and conditions under this Memorandum of Agreement are duly complied with and maintained by the concerned Philippine language training center and tour operator. For this purpose, the DOT, DFA, BI, and TESDA shall promulgate the pertinent rules and regulations to implement this Agreement.

EFFECTIVITY:

This MOA shall take effect immediately upon signing by the parties.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties hereto have set their hands this ___ day of _______, 2005, in the City of Manila, Philippines.


DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM

By:

USEC. EVELYN B. PANTIG, CESO I
Officer-In-Charge

DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

By:


USEC. JOSE S. BRILLANTES
Acting Secretary

BUREAU OF IMMIGRATION


By:


ALIPIO F. FERNANDEZ
Commissioner

TECHNICAL EDUCATION AND SKILLS
DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY

By:


DR. SANTIAGO M. YABUT JR.
Acting Director Genral


SIGNED IN THE PRESENCE OF:

ELIZABETH F. NELLE
Director, Office of Product
Research and Development
Department of Tourism


TERESITA VG. BARSANA
Assistant Secretary
Office of Consular affairs
Department of Foreign Affairs


ATTY. ROY ALMORO
Executive Director
Bureau of Immigration


IRENE ISAAC
Executive Director
Office of Formal TVET
Technical Education and Skills Development Authority

ACKNOWLEDGMENT
Republic of the Philippines)
City of Manila ) Ss.

Before me, a Notary Public for and in the City of Manila, this 5th day of October, 2004, personally came and appeared the following:

Name CTC No. Issued at/ On

EVELYN B. PANTIG 12656823 Manila/ January 23,2004
JOSE BRILLANTES dp. No. 004800 Manila/ January 25,2004
ALIPIO F. FERNANDEZ 11304920 Dagupan City/ January 12,2004
DR. SANTIAGO M. YABUT 13775337 Quezon City/ January 14,2004

All known to me and to me known to be the same person who executed the foregoing instrument and they acknowledged to me that the same is their own voluntary act and deed and of the entities that they represent.


AUDELLE H. ZAMORA
NOTARY PUBLIC
Until December 31,2004
PTR NO.2780835/01/06/04-MLA.
TIN NO. 130-137-902

Doc. No.: 13
Page No.: 28
Book No.: IX
Series of 2004

 

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