On DOST scholars’ right to travel abroad – a clarification

My Exclusive

Can current DOST scholars travel abroad without seeking clearance from the BI? Not so fast!

For a couple of weeks now, a soft copy of a memorandum purportedly signed by Mario Montejo, Department of Science and Technology (DOST) secretary last January 12 has been circulating via social networking site Facebook. Addressed to DOST councils and agencies, the memo pertains to the temporary lifting of the watch list orders (WLO) against the agency’s scholars “who are still under contractual obligation with the Philippine government.” Here’s the full text of the memo:

A memo concerning DOST scholars' right to travel (click to enlarge) - credits to Mr. Hilbert Libres

This has reference to the attached letter of Atty. Siegfred B. Mison, Acting Associate Commissioner of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) dated December 15, 2011 regarding the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) issued by the Supreme Court against the Department of Justice on the Watchlist Orders (WLO).
Consequently, effective January 1, 2012, the WLO against DOST scholars who are still under contractual obligation with the Philippine Government was lifted.

Please be informed that the terms and conditions of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the BI is being discussed to put back in place the WLO on scholars, a mechanism that help us in monitoring/tracking our scholars. We hope to execute this MOA soonest.

In the meantime, the WLO of your monitored DOST scholars has been lifted pending the execution of the MOA.

This is a clear departure from the old standard operating procedure (SOP) for those planning to travel overseas. In order to obtain a clearance, a scholar must inform the department about his or her travel plans, inclusive dates, and the reason for travelling. Then, the traveling scholar must post a bond “equivalent to the total financial assistance (he or she) have received as of the date just prior to (his or her) travel plus 12% interest.” That is only when DOST would issue a letter endorsing the scholar to the Bureau of Immigration for the final clearance.

The implication of the aforementioned DOST memo is clear: scholars need not go through this labyrinth of a process just to go abroad anymore. Or so it seems. But before going into that, first things first. How did the case reach the Supreme Court (to the point where they actually issued a TRO)? In order for cases to be considered “ripe for judicial determination,” a “justiciable controversy” must exist. In other words, the SC won’t act on this issue unless someone from the ranks of DOST scholars comes forward to actually file a complaint.

That being said, I wanted to know the background of this case first before writing about it. I need to read the full text of the said SC TRO. I went to the Supreme Court website, and despite typing words such as “Department of Science and Technology,” “Mario Montejo,” “DOST scholars,” among others, I wasn’t able to find it. Last week, I personally visited to the SC Public Information Office, and when I inquired, I was asked for the case number. Two days after, I called the DOST-SEI hotline to clarify this matter.

I was told by Ms Celsa Tulalian, the person managing the scholars’ database, that a number of DOST beneficiaries had been barred from travelling by airport authorities (remember Gloria Arroyo?) the past two weeks since they don’t have the necessary clearance from the BI to do so. She explained to me that in the absence of a memorandum of agreement between DOST and BI concerning the matter, scholars must still abide by the old SOP to avoid experiencing the same fate. She also noted that the sharing of the DOST memo pictured above is premature and unauthorized.

Ms Tulalian can be reached during weekdays at 8371333 for any questions. If you have a copy of the said TRO, please email me at markrrsyan@yahoo.com.  

UPDATE: I have reached Mr. Hilbert Libres, the original uploader of the abovementioned DOST memo on Facebook. Here’s what he wrote:

I do respect DOST’s comment on the memo. But personally, I don’t buy it. It’s a memo duly signed by the DOST secretary. And that signify its valid. I know an appeal has been made, but that doesn’t make the memo invalid. It’s clear in the letter that the lift is only temporary. And it also states an appeal is being processed. And they say the memo is not final? -This negates what’s stated in the letter. C’mon, DOST scholars are not stupid. Or am I?

I also understand why they are restricting the circulation of this memo. It stirs up the interest of DOST scholars to go out of the country before they complete their service. I just think DOST-SEI was not ready to handle this issue. Although, I still strongly suggested to all my DOST scholar friends to secure clearance from the agency than risking to pass through immigration just purely relying on the issued memo.“

About Author



Mark Pere Madrona

The Filipino Scribe (TFS) is managed by Mark Pere Madrona, a multi-awarded writer and licensed professional teacher from the Philippines. Mr. Madrona earned his master’s degree in history from the University of the Philippines-Diliman last 2020. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in journalism cum laude from the same university back in 2010. His area of interests includes Philippine journalism, history, and politics as well as social media. Know more about him here: https://www.filipinoscribe.com/about/.

203 thoughts on “On DOST scholars’ right to travel abroad – a clarification

  1. The DOST people have been deliberately concealing the truth behind this memo. There is no clear answer that can be drawn from them. As such, DOST scholars must file a complaint against them. One day, I’ll ask the assistance of “tulfo brothers” and PAO to assist me with this. Logically, the scholars should not be barred from going abroad, whether to work or not. That privilege is 100% guaranteed in our constitution, unless a case has been filed against the person involved. I don’t understand why this letter has surfaced without any further information. There must be a legal basis for this. Scholars please help on this issue.

    1. Isko, I agree that the right to travel is really stated for in the 1987 constitution but I have to remind you that DOST scholars know from the start (probably even before they applied) enjoying this grant requires limits in one’s travel rights.

      You may be the one to comment in this post but so far, this has received over 400 views. I have contacted the original uploader of this memo via Facebook and I will be posting here his comments soon.

      1. I agree with MarkPerez; however, we should also note that DOST Scholars sign the purportedly binding agreement while still minors, which implies that the law may be on their side considering that they may not have full understanding of what they’re getting themselves into.

    2. Hello, I am going to Australia on July for my wedding. I was a DOST scholar and I work at Samsung Philippines in less than a year- being my first job. I haven’t secured any final clearance from DOST and BI but I was able to get NBI clearance for my visa without a fuss.

  2. Mr. Markpere, frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn whether scholars have informed about the WLO or not. The question is, is it legal to bar a scholar from going abroad in order to work? Let’s talk base on legality on this, nothing else. Thank you.

    1. Don’t hold it against me for wanting to know more details about this. And if you are indeed determined to challenge the validity of the said DOST rule, why not proceed to the Supreme Court?

  3. I clarified it with a DOST-SEI personnel and they’re saying that DOST scholars really need to process for the lifting of the watchlist order from the Bureau of Immigration.

  4. Hay naku. Kung gusto nyong ipaclear nang walang hassle may “not so legal” process naman. Some nbi people accepts it. Pay 15k. Bakit mahal? Maraming tao ang kikilos (immigration, dfa, & of course nbi). They work together and voila, wala nang “watchlist order” sa susunod na kukuha ka ng nbi clearance. Hindi ka pa haharangin sa immigration sa airport.

  5. and that is what we are promoting as scholars? think it over again my friend. walang mangyayari sa pinas sa ganiyang mentalidad.

  6. I was a scholar who is still required to work here in our country. I personally want that this issue be clarified by DOST-SEI since I also have plans to travel abroad (not work). I experienced the hassles of acquiring a temporary clearance from the BI before, and lifting the WLO will make our travel a lot easier.

    However, I would completely understand if ever they will retain the WLO on us since paaral ako ng Pilipinas. What I am today, I owe it to the Filipino people. Sobrang salat kami noon, and frankly, without DOST scholarship, we might still be living in a squatter area. Kaya kahit paikot ikutin ako ng DOST just to get my clearance, I wouldn’t mind. Pero mas ok pa din kung wala ng WLO 🙂 I love to work here in the Philippines. Com’n, if we, the scholars, would leave Philippines to serve other countries, sinu aasahan ng bayang ito?!

    1. Hi there. Thank you for your honesty. Dahil sa mga kagaya niyo na nagmamahal pa rin sa Pilipinas, I don’t lose hope about our country’s future. Pero I should be able to do a follow-up on this soon.

    2. Natuwa ako sa comment mo. At least may isa sa maraming DOST scholars ang may positibong pananaw 🙂 Years of service for the country naman ang hinihingi. Buo mong makukuha ang sweldo mo, nagka-work experience ka at nakatulong pa sa ekonomiya ng Pilipinas. So anong nawala sa yo? ^_^

  7. it doesn’t matter if its on the travel ban or not. What i think is important is whether DOST is enforcing unconstitutional rules with their scholars or not. No government institution is above the law so this must be cleared with the courts first

    1. But remember, students already know about that obligation even before they apply for the scholarship. And yes, the Supreme Court should indeed settle this for once

      1. We may assume that we were informed about it, but the mere point is that we were actually forced to sign it with our eyes closed. Why? Most of the scholars are from the underprivileged families, this includes me, and we don’t have a choice but to avail the scholarship if we wanna study. I agree with you that this matter must be settled now and for it to be addressed faster, scholars should be more active in voicing our sentiments.

    2. Have we thought about one thing? Maybe the contract was reviewed by lawyers and maybe even someone from higher court before giving it to scholars? Since it is from a government institution. 🙂 Just a thought…

  8. Hi there! I am also a DOST-SEI scholar and currently on my 3rd year of being an undergraduate. I had read all your posts and replies guys and I did enjoy on this beneficial conversation. Actually, The issue must be settled as early as possible for the scholars to decide on what personal plans they wanted to fulfill. I am of no side to strongly support with since all of you stated reasonable points but to end the arguement (AGAIN AND AGAIN), this must be settled sooner and whatever the decision is, scholars will fully understand and accept it. For real! TY!

    1. Hello frustr8dluvr,
      It is up to the DOST to decide on this matter once and for all. I think no one deserves to be kept in the dark. And if there are constitutional issues involved, the Supreme Court should step in.

  9. I called the DOST SEI Head office/Ms. Asuncion earlier. They transferred me to “Sir Dante” (forgot to ask his last name) and he mentioned that no need to go to BI just to clear my name sa WLO. He mentioned DOST SEI recently issued a memo to make travelling abroad easier for us “CLEARED” scholars. I’m actually thinking this is the memo he is referring.

    1. I went to DOST-SEI yesterday morning and I talked to Ms. Alona. She told me about the same thing. But she said that all uncleared scholarship grantees (not just the cleared) are now allowed to go out of the country as per the moratorium that was recently released by the Bureau of Immigration.

      I asked her for a copy of the said moratorium but she said that there is no need for it. She said that I will just say my name to the immigration officers in the airport and they will check it from the watchlist. I will just take her word for it.

      So, scholars who wants to go out, your time is now. Cheers! 🙂

      1. So it means there’s no more need to do the paper work that used to be required before? If you know anyone out there who was able to get out of the country without much adieu, please tell him/her to share his/her experience here.

      2. Thank you, Kelubai. In any case, can I reach you through your email regarding this? Can I mention your name here if and when you are already ready to share your story? Salamat, and bon voyage. 🙂

  10. Hello! got two questions po..
    How long will the TRO be effective?
    If I want to go abroad, can I leave na anytime?

    I don’t see the reason para ibond pa.. we all studied hard naman para mamaintain ang scholarship!

    1. You’re not a scholar for nothing. DOST had invested on you to fulfill your obligations as a citizen of this country. Studying hard enables you to maintain your scholarship but our country needs you. And so, the reason for this ban.

    1. @karlaqc: yes nakaalis at nakabalik na ako. I went to Singapore last June 26 and went to Johor Bahru, Malaysia last Friday, June 29. Im back! No questions asked.

      I recommend na tawagan mo muna ang DOST-SEI and ask them if the moratorium from the Bureau of Immigration is still in effect if you are planning to go out of the country. Also, make sure that you have a return ticket so that sure sila na babalik ka talaga. Yun lang naman ang habol nila dun. 🙂

      I will go back to Singapore in August and will fly to Vietnam na rin. Maybe that time, tapos ko na lakarin ang clearance ko. 😀

        1. What if your plan is not to travel but to work for at least two-year contract? Is this still possible? If so, how? Thanks.

  11. nagpunta ako sa BI nung 2 weeks ago. sabi nila ok an daw to travel abroad kasi may memorandum ang BI na dedelete daw nila sa watch list ang mga scholars…

  12. eto po number ko tom kasi ang flight ko so kung sino po diyan ang nakalabas na during this year, please contact me: 09065017493.


    1. Wag mo nang sabihin na ikaw ay DOST Scholar kung hindi naman tinatanong ng Immigration Officer. Ako hindi ko na sinabi yun.

      Inask lang ako kung saan ako pupunta at kung ano ang gagawin ko sa pupuntahan ko. Be honest about your answers. They will understand. Show them your return ticket if they will ask you about it.

      Also, hindi lang naman mga scholars ang mga nahohold. Marami rin tayong mga kababayan na hindi pinapayagan lumabas.

    1. Just make sure na matawagan mo ang DOST-SEI to confirm if effective pa ang moratorium ng BI two weeks prior to your travel. Para lang makasiguro ka kung ok pa. Kung hindi pa, that will give you plenty of time to get your clearance. I am also planning to go back to Singapore in August and tutuloy din ng Vietnam. Tapos balik Pinas na from there. For me, what I suggested to you, is what I will also do. 🙂

  13. Hi guys! This may sound stupid but nonetheless, I want to confirm if I understood it correctly. The moratorium applies for both cleared and uncleared scholars, which removes the need to secure an Allow Departure Order (ADO) from BI, tama? I have confirmed the release of my clearance but was sent to a former address that I do not stay in anymore and the person I talked to on the phone also said I do not need to process an ADO because of this moratorium. So following kelubai’s posts, do you guys think it would cause issues later if I am planning to work abroad, instead of just going out as tourist, and the TRO will be lifted?

    1. i think wala naman nang issues dito. Also, you are already cleared diba? Hindi mo nga lang hawak. If you have doubts, you may again request for that clearance stating that you are planning to work abroad (and have it sent to your work address para sure na makuha mo).

      Para sa akin kasi they should no longer hold you back kasi you are already finished with your obligations.

  14. Question lng po. Un gf ko asa ibang bansa ngaun. She was able to obtain clearance to travel from DOST and immigration pero un expected return nya based dun s clearance is July. Pero something came up so di cya makauwi agad. Sa august pa balik nya pinas. Mgkkaron ba sya ng problema paguwi nya? Haharangin ba sya or iddetain sa airport? Kelangan pa ba nya humingi ng clearance s dost bago sya umuwi? Thanks!

  15. hi, im goin to hk this aug via clark airport. i havent secured any clearance as i am still under obligation 🙁 wala akong pera pang collateral sa dost. wat shud i do? 🙁

      1. 🙁 but if in case i go to the BI and my name is not in the BI watchlist does it mean i can freely board the plane on d day pf my flight?

  16. Hello,

    Follow-up po sa post ni Anonymous last July 9, 2012, 09:20:17 regarding sa working abroad.

    Kung sa kanya po e “cleared” case na, pano naman po kung under obligation pa rin or uncleared, 3 mos palang ung service ko. Posible po bang makalabas ng bansa para dun magtrabaho?


    1. i have the same concern. and i still dont know wat’s gonna happen. i ha ve tickets already and hotel. hassle tlg if ever ma hold ako sa airport. hassle din mag iwan ng pera. wl nmn tlg akong maiiwan na pera sa kanila. amp. kung wl ang pangalan ko sa BI, tingin niyo pa wl akong magiging problem on the day of my flight. haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay

    2. Hi, this is Anonymous who posted last July 9, 09:20:17. Kung under obligation ka pa, I suggest calling DOST-SEI at 8372071 or 8371333. The moratorium, if i understood it correctly, is only about temporarily allowing scholars to go abroad even without an ADO. Thus, if you still need to render service, you are expected to come back unless you pay the full amount of financial benefits you received. As for my case, I would still confirm with DOST my eligibility to work abroad and make sure with BI that my name is no longer in the watch list to avoid any hassle when i leave on the 19th.

      1. so ure goin out of the country on the 19th? naasikaso mo na ba ang clearance mo? pls update us wat’s gonna happen

      2. Yes, that moratorium is temporal as I also understood. Kung under obligation pa, dapat talaga tapusin yun or pay the needed equivalent amount. Kasama yan sa pinirmahan nating kontrata nuon.

  17. hanggang kailan kaya ang moratorium? btw, may nakausap ako sa DOST, isang dating kaklase, cleared pala tlg tau sa BI… NBI or DFA lang hindi (?)… kung ganon ba, may chance pa din na makalusot sa immigration officers sa airport khit wl png clearance?

    1. Kung cleared po tayo sa BI, wala naman magiging problem sa airport. Kasi BI officers yung mga nandun eh.

      Diba kailangan lang naman ang NBI Clearance and DFA Clearance(?) kung kukuha ka ng passport? Ako nakakuha ng passport without these two requirements.

    2. cdrqueen kumuha ka ba ng clearance sa dost? punta din sana ko sa hk via clark din kaso wla pa kong dost clearance advised ka naman ano ginawa mo…

  18. Hello, can you please send the memo to me in high-res? Thanks. I was also a DOST scholar nung masters and i’m rendering service na, however, an opportunity came up to have a PhD outside. Syempre, I need to give them a bond for them to clear me. Ang problema, ang laki ng bond at wala akong ganoong amount ng pera. Nakakalungkot kasi I have every intention to go back here in the country after, mas okay nga kung may PhD na dahil mas makakatulong ka sa research. Meron na ba sa inyo na same case ko? pangatlo na kasi ako sa institute namin na may ganitong case. Yung una nagbayad ng bond kasi well off naman sila. Kami nung pangalawa ang may problema kasi nga wala kaming pang bond. Thanks

  19. Hi anonymous (above). Pwede namang hindi magpost ng bond. Sign lang ng deed of undertaking with a surety na employed at hindi lang daw aalis ng bansa. Anyways, question? Sino na dito ang scholar naka-alis ng bansa in the last 2 months without obtaining a clearance from DOST? Mahal kasi magpa lift sa travel ban sa BI eh, mga isang libo din daw. Eh kung makakalusot naman di ba? Kelangan po ba ng NBI clearance sa immigration? Nkalagay kasi sakin “Not Valid for Travel Abroad” eh. Pano kaya yun?

  20. Hi everyone!
    Just sharing my experience:
    I was a DOST Scholar who graduated last 2003. I first went out of the country December of 2010 for a 15-day visit to Japan under a diplomatic visa (AFS Phil) and was not held by the immigration officials.

    The second time i went out of the country was October of 2011. This time for study under a Japanese government scholarship. I was held by the immigration officers. My name was in the watchlist. I was confident that I can get through the immigration because of my first experience. However I failed. Nonetheless, I have to be on the plane so, I reasoned out that I enjoyed the scholarship for five years (1999-2003 including 3 summers) and had serve the country for 5 years since I started working from 2003 until my recent departure. I was allowed to leave the country with the promise that I have to settle the matter when I’m back in the Phils.

    My problem now is I wanted to go on vacation to the Phils but I am afraid my scholarship and studies will be jeopardize just because I might be held in the airport on the way back. ( I don’t want to spent vacation just to process my clearance, knowing that it takes time processing papers in the government offices). When do you guys think this memorandum will be updated?

    With regards to my experience, UNCLEARED scholars are allowed to leave the country without hassle if they are on tourist visa and or leaving the country for a month or less. However, for those leaving the country for longer periods like study abroad and or work, I suggest you obtain clearance before leaving. It’s less hassle than wasting time and a lot of money just be held at the airport by immigration officials.

  21. kailangan mo ang nbi for passport. hnd na need na ipakita sa bi. i was able to get my passport ng wl akong nbi clearance just 2 valid ids and nso bc. galing ako sa dost kahapon nag submit ng deed of undertaking, tom sana dapat ko makuha ang temporary clearance. ang clearance ay hnd na dadalhin sa BI kaya hnd na magbabayad ng 1,200 for clearing sa bi database. weird. ung clearance daw ipapakita na lang sa airport. sa case ng friend ko n nag pnta ng SG last april at kumuha ng clearance sa dost, hnd din nmn siya tinanong sa airport. natatakot lang ako kung anu man maging problema kay nag secure pa rin ako ng temporary clearance. haaaaaaaay. c kelubai nakaalis ng bansa many times yata for the past 6 months without securing travel clearance

    1. Kumusta? Nakaalis ka ba ng Pinas? It is my third time to go out of our country now and wala naman hinihingi sa akin na clearance ang immigration officers natin both from NAIA 1 & 3.

  22. Whats the status pal? Had you gone abroad without any hassle. I am really in need of your update. For I really need to got abroad for my training and dont have enough money to pay for the collateral. Please email me at this address for your updates. thank you very much…


  23. Just sharing.

    There’s a new memo from the Bureau of Immigration, dated 14 June 2012, that is circulating in Facebook. Here’s what it states:

    “Pursuant to the legal opinion of the Honorable Department of Justice Secretary particularly disapproving the Memorandum of Agreement between the Department of Science and Technology and the Bureau of Immigration, the Chief of the Information and Communications Technology Section is directed to remove the names of ANY and ALL scholars in the Watchlist (DOST/CHED/SUC Scholars) within five (5) days from the receipt of this Order. Pending the total removal of these names, scholars whose names appear in the Watchlist shall be allowed to leave without being required to present any document issued by the Bureau, unless the concerned scholar is prevented to travel by some other lawful cause.”

    You can check the memo here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151100633049604&set=a.496658819603.276071.702954603&type=1

    One day after celebrating liberation, I read an announcement from the Engg Student Council of UPD.

    “ATTENTION DOST Scholars!

    In connection to the memorandum recently circulated in Facebook regarding the lifting of names from watchlist of DOST scholars, DOST-SEI clarified that clearances are still REQUIRED to be secured from DOST whenever a scholar/someone who is under a contract with them would like to leave the country. The memorandum just says that DOST scholars will be allowed to leave the country WITHOUT going to the Bureau of Immigration to ask for the lifting of their names from the watchlist (different from the usual procedure). To reiterate, DOST scholars still need to secure a clearance from DOST following the process in your contract, but are not anymore required to go to the Bureau of Immigration.

    If you have further questions, you may ask DOST-SEI directly by calling 837-1333.”

    I think we can leave w/o securing the clearance from DOST. Well technically, it will be the BI officers who will hold us from departure.

  24. I’m a DOST scholar and I’m currently on my 2nd year of service for this “bond”. I never really liked the idea of the “bond”, but like most of the scholars, I needed to sign the scholarship or else I wouldn’t be able to go to school. If the government really wanted to help, they should help without any conditions. Besides, di naman malulugi ang economy natin pag dumami ang OFWs since di ba nga ang laki ng kinikita ng Pinas dahil sa mga OFWs natin. Sayang ang opportunities na dumadating sa mga scholars na makatulong sana sa family by working abroad, pero hindi nila pwede itake ang mga opportunities na yun dahil lang sa bond na yan.

    1. Hi. DOST scholar ka kasi. 🙂 You are held sa bond dahil kailangan ka sa Pinas to develop at mag-progress ang industries at research sa S&T. Hindi po para ang itulong mo ay maging OFW. 🙂

  25. i agree that we’ve missed a lot of opportunities travelling abroad,,,pero we still owe it to our country naman di ba…kya tayo nakagrad..=] we should be grateful enough to abide our contract..sigurado naman ako na naiintindihan natin lahat ng yun bago natin pinirmahan di ba…=]

    1. Of course we, as scholars, should be the first ones to serve our country. But traveling abroad is not limited to pursuing jobs. There are other reasons why a person may need or want to go abroad. E.g., you may want to visit or spend a holiday with your family or loved ones. Traveling abroad doesn’t always mean absconding from our scholarship obligations. While we have and we do recognize our obligations to our country, we also have our own obligations to ourselves and to our family that they must also recognize.

  26. The memorandum states the removal of the names of the DOST Scholars from the watchlist upon receipt of the order. Therefore BI should not have our names listed to hold our departure.

  27. A contract is void if it is against the law, morals, good customs, public order and public policy. Clearly, the right to travel is protected under the Constitution and the Constitution is the fundamental law of the land. I also cannot figure out which law this travel ban is based on. There is nothing under RA 7687 that prohibits a scholar to travel out of the country. I’ve long been wondering why no one has come out to assail the constitutionality of this travel ban until I’ve read about this.

  28. Hello everyone, I just want to share my experience here, I am a DOST scholar for my master’s and still under contract, I haven’t finished my thesis yet when I left for US last jan. 2012. Before I left I went first to the Immigration to check if I have a derogatory record or if I am on the watchlist/blacklist,because I wanted to make sure that I don’t have a hit on the BI, so after confirming to me that I don’t have a hit, I obtain a clearance in case maharang ako sa BI may ipapakita akong clearance from their main office, yong data base kasi nila d updated so better be safe. I get a clearance a month before I left( clearance is worth 1,500 and took me just 2 hrs. to get it,maaga kasi ako pumunta). How to do it: just go to the Bureau of Immigration main office in Intramuros, then proceed to the window that provides checking for derogatory records,watchlist,blacklist, they will give you a small slip to fill up info. about you,it’s free bide the way,then after like an hour (kung busy medyo matagal tagal) they will give you the result. On my part I did not have a record so hindi na ako pumunta sa dost to get a clearance,as long as your cleared sa BI your free to go out of the country. At the immigration sa airport, they just asked me where am I going, what will i do there and for how long,just answer professionally,politely and show confidence, ‘coz they will look at you while going through your passport and your record. Fortunately they didn’t raise any issue about dost thing,so I was able to breath when I pass the BI, nabunot lahat ng tinik,so to speak. I sneaked out of the country bide the way, hindi ko pa kasi tapos young thesis ko sa master’s din may dumating na opportunity sa US and wala akong pambayad sa DOST so I sneaked out but I will be back next year din naman. I hope I’m able to help here, if you need clarification with my post just asked me 🙂

      1. Hello twinkle, so are you planning to go abroad? I have a hard time doing my thesis kasi, so I decided to take a breath and ventured out.

  29. OMG I’m leaving the country this Sept. 10, 2012 for 5-day travel in Bangkok. I already secured clearance from DOST last 2008 but I never went to BI since this is my first time to travel abroad. I’m worried because I no longer have time to go to BI because of my current work schedule. I’m arriving in Manila on Sept 8, which is Sat and my flight to Bangkok will be on Sept 10 in the morning. I just hope it’s true that all our names have been cleared in BI. I’ll keep you posted of my experience. 🙂

  30. hi all, just curious if there are any updates to the recent posts? How did the Immigration check at the airport go? If you can kindly share a follow up on your posts, that would be helpful. Am going on a short trip outside the country next week. thanks!

  31. hi guys and gals. i got my final clearance sometime this year. today, i went to the bureau of immigration (BI) because i wanted to secure an allow departure order (ADO). segurista mode. i showed my final clearance certificate at the VCU receiving counter and, after a few minutes, they released that same document with ‘no derogatory records’ stamp and valid initials and i was told: “ok na ‘to. ipakita mo na lang ‘to sa airport.” so… it’s true, there’s no need to get an ADO from BI anymore. 🙂

    1. so does it mean po ba na pwede na tau lumabas ng bansa kahit d pa tapos ang service?
      i think mas OK if kumuha ka ng written clearance from BI para wala ng prob pag nasa airport na…

      1. Hello, for pag-alis sa bansa ng less than a year, a bond is not required, pwede na ang deed of undertaking, but for those that will study/work abroad for more than a year, dapat mag-post na ng bond. In my case, I have to raise money within this year para makaalis ako for my PhD next year. I already called up with DOST regarding this and they gave me 2 choices, either I post a cash bond or give them a property title (equal to the amount that they gave you + 12% interest minus the return service, if ilang months)
        For those na less than a year aalis ng bansa, hindi ka naman haharangin sa airport. Nakaalis ako kahit di pa tapos ang return service ko. I traveled ng 1st week of Sept to Germany and I secured a deed of undertaking pero hindi naman siya hinanap. Yun, I hope this helps. 🙂

  32. Last year I went to Singapore for 2 weeks. I secured a DOST clearance but I didn’t go to BI before my departure. Ng nasa airport na, tinanong ako ng immigration officer kung DOST scholar ako. I said yes and pinakita ko yung DOST clearance ko. Umalis sya saglit to check then pagbalik nya sabi nya okay na daw and pinatuloy nya ako – but advised me to go to BI pagbalik to have my name cleared para daw next time hindi na ako mahassle.

    I went to BI today to have my name cleared from the watchlist. I gave them the DOST letter stating that I have completed the years of service. The immigration officer just gave back the letter to me and said, ‘okay na to. Cleared ka na. May memo na i-clear na sa watchlist ang mga DOST, CHED scholars..(pinabasa nya sakin ang memo posted sa window).’ Di ako kuntento sa sagot nya, so I asked ‘ okay na po to? Hindi ba ako mahaharang sa airport?’ Sabi nya ‘clear ka na sa watchlist. haharangin ka lang kung may ibang kaso ka.’

  33. i went to taipei last aug 12-18, although i secured a dost temporary clearance, immigration didn’t ask for anything in the airport
    i’m not sure if its a fluke…i’m going to japan for another business trip on oct 14 but i haven’t requested for temporary clearance…hopefully i can secure one just to make sure

  34. hey guys i email BI regarding this and asking if my name is still in watchlist order, im happy to say that no derogatory records found for my name, does it mean that i can work now abroad? ang hirap kasi maghanap ng trabaho sa Pinas lalo na pag hindi ka license engineer, khit nga mga licensed electronics engineer nahihirapan ding maghanap ng trabaho e, ang Immigration lng ba ang nanghaharang sa Airport? pano ang DFA? may passport na din pla ako, walang hassle kumuha ng passport, i don’t know if meron pa ding nakalagay sa NBI clearance ko na DOST Scholar etc.. tatry ko kumuha ng NBI Clearance. ung aalis ng Pinas sa Oct. 14 tapos mo na ba service obligation mo?

  35. I emailed binoc_immigration@hotmail.ph if I have any derogatory record in their database last Thursday (10/18/12). Eto yung reply nila sa email ko…

    Dear Sir

    We referred your concern to the Verification Certification Section and they would like to inform you that the name ***** **** *** has no Derogatory record in the database as of October 18, 2012.

    Should you have other immigration-related queries, please do not hesitate to call the BI Helpdesk Hotline at (632) 524-3824 or (632) 524-3769, visit our website at http://www.immigration.gov.ph or like us on Facebook: offialbureauofimmigration and follow us on Twitter: immigrationPH

    1. also e-mailed binoc_immigration@hotmail.ph last May 27, 2013. I received a reply on May 31 and below is their reply

      – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

      Dear Sir,

      Good day! To verify if one is the subject of a Hold Departure Order, there must be a request filed before the Verification and Certification Unit of the Bureau of Immigration, Magallanes Drive, Intramuros, Manila. Provided below are the requirements and fees involved for the issuance of a clearance certificate:


      · Photocopy of passport of applicant

      · Special Power of Attorney and valid ID (if filed by a representative)


      Certification Fee

      P 500.00

      Legal Research Fee


      Express Lane Fee



      P 1,010.00

      Should you have other immigration-related queries, please do not hesitate to call the BI Helpdesk Hotline at (632) 524-3824 or (632) 524-3769, visit our website at http://www.immigration.gov.ph or like us on Facebook: officialbureauofimmigration and follow us on Twitter: immigrationPH.

      – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

      Question: Is that service free? Because according to your e-mail they did check if you have any dr in their database whereas in my case, they presented me the requirements and fees for each service.

      1. I just received today a response on my email inquiry sent last week..response was same as lilprince’s. honestly i’m relieved (a little) but still a proof would be better than a simple email response, something we can show sa airport ba.
        maybe rhenium1000’s email response would help me get the proof needed. but yikes, i live outside manila, can’t go there personally.

    2. @midnightcanvass the one I received was different from you and lilprince. Just wondering why. May I please, if it wouldn’t be too much, have a copy of the e-mail you sent to BI?

      1. here’s the email i sent to boi..by the way, i sent it to xinfo@immigration.gov.ph .. the hotmail address won’t work, it gives a notice that email can’t be delivered to the said address.
        I plan to have a vacation trip outside the country. I would like to confirm if my name has no derogatory records and if I’m allowed for travel.
        Full Name: xxxxxxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxxxx

        Thank you very much!
        if you live in the province and going to the main office is inconvenient for you, you might also want to indicate it in your email since they have required you to go to their office.

        we also called their hotline and asked about dost scholar’s issue about travelling abroad. the call was not concrete, and answers too. but based from it, the travel ban is indeed lifted,but not all dost scholars’ names are removed from the list. when we ask why, we were told to go to their office and proceed to window 11 for confirmation. hope this helps.

  36. Ask ko lang po kung hindi na po hinahanap ung dost clearance ng mga BI officer sa airport.

    Need pa po ba talag kumuha ng tempo clearance sa dost.

    within the day po ba nagreply sa inyo ung binoc_immigration@hotmail.ph kasi sa akin po di po nagrereply eh.

    1. I am now in Singapore and it is my third time to go out of the country this year. Immigration officers from NAIA 1 and 3 did not look for my clearance.

    2. 12-10-2012

      Hi Grace, call DOST office and tell them you are aware of the TRO on travel ban. Ask them personally, look for Mr. Dante, if you need to get their clearance form despite of the TRO?

      I will be waiting.

  37. scholars! I read all your responses! it gave me joy and satisfaction:) without hesitation, I will visit Korea!:D

    1. does this mean pwede na mag work sa ibang bansa?..well of course in my case babalik pa rin ako and will render service here in the philippines..

  38. Hi guys, working po ba rin ang TRO? Also, sa DOST po ba makukuha ang deed of undertaking? Pasensya na po kayo, i’m in my 2+yrs in service, 2+yrs pa kulang. I’m planning to apply for passport, ang kinatatakutan ko lang po baka hingian ako ng clearance from DOST. Kaya need ko experiences ninyo regarding for passsport application. Thank you very much. God bless DOST scholars!

  39. My wife was a DOST scholar. She will be travelling to BKK and from her previous travels, she always go to the painstaking process of securing permit from DOST to BI. Just recently(November 2012), when she applied for a travel clearance, Mr. Dante gave her the certificate upon complying all the required documents. Then, she went to BI for the last part of the process. When she went there, the personnel told her that she’s already okay. Her DOST certificate was just stamped with “Okay”, unlike the usual process where she needs to wait a week to get the final clearance upon payment of processing fee.

    I wonder why Mr. Dante of DOST failed to inform my wife regarding the TRO on travel ban? She should have saved her time and money. Does the DOST’s concerned office doesn’t want to follow the TRO and inform scholars about it?

    I’m disappointed!

    Anyway, thanks for the post.

  40. Hi guys…I plan to travel to USA some time in April, just to visit. I dont have a passport yet. Do i need to get a clearance from DOST to get a passport. I applied online appointment in DFA and im gonna go there in january 5th. Do i need a clearance from DOST just to get a passport? Please i need help regarding this. Thanks 🙂

  41. did the same way.. Im planing to go to dubai since my wifes there, I applied for a passport but im crossing my fingers if makakuha ako then diretso na ako sa BI to secure a clearance. If hindi marealease passport ko then “donated by” na lang yung money=). kukuha na lang talaga ako nang clearance sa DOST.

  42. I applied for a passport last Nov 28, 2012. Makukuha ko na yung passport ko ds Jan 9. Sana i.release nila without asking for a DOST clearance.

    1. i think anon ndi k haharangin ksi BI lng nmn representative ng GOVERNMENT sa AIRPORT so wlang hhrang sau ska ang alam ko tlga lifted n ung ban ntin pra makaalis ng bansa kya no nid to worry i e-mail BI and they nagreply sila “no deregatory records found” so it means pedeng pede n umalis i dont know lng kung work kpag dumaan sa POEA ksi hhnapn k ng NBI Clearance dun eh dun lng ako mdyo curious

      1. i also emailed BI and they replied stating that I dont have any derogatory record. So, I guess lifted na talaga ang travel ban.

      2. hi jira08, pwede patulong, pwede pakita ng sample ng email mo sa BI para malaman ko kung lifted naba ako sa list kung ok lang sayo. THanks in advance.

  43. Hi all, I was not able to finish my return service before I left for my PhD here in Germany.DOST required me to post a bond with them before they allow me to leave. It is required if you leave the country for more than a year. I would get the money back though when I go back. FYI. 🙂

    1. Hello, How were you able to purse your PhD in Germany? Were you also able to get a VISA? I just need to know because I am planning to move there too. Thanks.

  44. hi..i’m graduating this march and my aunt will treat me to a one-week vacation to hong kong as a graduation gift. Am I still required to get clearance from DOST and BI?Who among here still under obligation to return service has traveled outside the country without experiencing any problems with BI?

  45. HI! I’m planning of getting a passport next month. No plans of going out of the country yet but just preparing for a possible out-of-the-country training from my company. Considering that I still need to render 3 years of service, do I still need to secure a clearance? Say it’s a 2-week company training in the UK, do I still need to get a clearance from BI?

      1. HI po! Natanggap po ako sa isang exchange program sa Japan for 10 days, Kelangan pa po bang kumuha ng clearance from DOST po? salamat po 🙂

  46. Hi anonymous! Thanks for the response. I’ll post my update if I’m able to get passport and hopefully make it for the deadline to attend the training.

  47. Hi anonymous! Thanks for the response. I’ll post my update if I’m able to get passport and hopefully make it for the deadline to attend the training. (forgot to log in. lol)

  48. I was able to get out of the country without being asked for a clearance from DOST. Travel ban is indeed lifted. 😀

  49. @jan:

    Yes, i informed DOST about my travel. I secured a travel clearance pero di na siya hiningi sa immigration. No questions asked about DOST. 😀

      1. 10 days ako sa singapore from feb 14-25.. tinanong lang kung saan ako magsta-stay sa singapore. sa case ko, me invitation letter ako from a friend who is working in singapore.

  50. hi there! i am petitioned to go to USA.im just wondering kung papayagan ako umails.dpa ako clear sa service ko.please help po.thanks you

  51. Hi all! just to share, everytime I travel just to make sure na walang hassle pagdating sa airport I secure a temporary clearance from DOST. But true, nde sya hinihingi sa immigration. Napagalitan pa ako dati ng lady officer when I handed her the letter. :/

    But my friend’s case is different. She already finished her service and submitted her FINAL clearance letter sa BI pero na hold pa rin sya during her first travel abroad. Thankfully, the officer let her kasi dala nya ung received copy ng letter.

    So now, that I just got my FINAL CLEARANCE I’m wondering if someone here can help me. I only got (1) CERTIFICATION stating I already cleared my service obligation and (2) LETTER for NBI Director. Walang letter for BI and DFA. So does it mean I don’t have to go to the 2 agencies, just NBI?

    Hope you can help me. Thanks!

  52. hello all. just want to share this. i’m planning to work aboard a ship. and still lacking 6 months na mag render nang service/work dito sa pinas. most probably mga 6 to 10months ung contract.

    do i need to secure a partial travel clearance from DOST-SEI? Am i required to post a bond with them(DOST) before they allow me to leave?

    Please advice.

    Thank you.

  53. i was able to go out of the country last year (aug ’12 – taiwan, oct ’12 – japan) for business trip. i secured temporary clearance for tw trip but immigration did not ask for it. japan trip was urgent so i was not able to secure clearance, i emailed immigration though and received confirmation that i have no derogatory records, thats i had with me, still nobody asked for it at the airport
    im going back to japan again in two weeks, i will try to secure final clearance since i have rendered 5 years of service here already and at the same time i will send an email to immigration again (in case i could not secure final clearance immediately) to confirm no i have no derogatory record

  54. Hi.. how do you e-mail BI to confirm if you have/don’t have a DR?
    Would appreciate any feedback.

  55. I’m a writer from Königsberg, Germany just submitted this to a coworker who was performing some sort of research on this. And she actually ordered me lunch only because I stumbled upon it for her… lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thanks for the meal… But anyway, thanx for taking some time to talk about this subject here on your blog.

  56. hello there and thank you for your information – I’ve certainly picked up anything new from right here. I did however expertise some technical points using this site, as I experienced to reload the web site lots of times previous to I could get it to load correctly. I had been wondering if your web hosting is OK? Not that I’m complaining,
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  57. Hi fellow scholars,
    Thought this would help for those who want to confirm a DR from Bureau of Immigration for travel purposes.

    I e-mailed xinfo@immigration.gov.ph as follows:


    (June 20, 2013)

    I plan to have a vacation trip outside the country. I would like to confirm if my name has no derogatory records and if I’m allowed for travel.

    First Name: ******
    Middle Name: ****
    Last Name: *****

    Thank you very much!

    and this was their reply…


    (June 25, 2013)

    Dear Sir:

    We referred your concern to the Verification and Certification Unit and they would like to inform you that the name ****** ***** has no derogatory record based from our database as of June 21, 2013.


    Credits to midnightcanvass!

    Hope this helps! 🙂

    1. Hi, nagtry ako mag-email sa BI with the same content as yours kaso ang reply sakin ganito: “Please be informed that query on derogatory record must be applied at the Verification and Certification Unit (VCU)…” Pinapapunta pako sa main office para mag-apply at may fee pa!

      Question: Ano ginamit mong email title nung sinend mo to? Tnry ko din kasi tumawag sa hotline nila at ganyan din sabi. Kelangan ko daw talaga pumunta kasi di daw sila authorized magsabi about records thru phone and about sa email, depende daw sa trip or kung gano kabusy ung naghahandle ng email kung sasagutin nya ung query about sa derogatory record.

      Wala na kasi ako time mag-apply ng travel clearance sa DOST, and wala din ako makuhang co-maker dahil retired na both parents ko eh kelangan daw recent ITR. Plus, kasama ko pa sila sa trip.

  58. Hi, i have same experience when i travelled abroad last year for training. I processed Temporary Clearance from DOST – this will be needed in acquiring clearances from NBI and BI ADO. Indeed, i needed it for NBI Clearance but not anymore for BI ADO. Now, since we have now this “MEMO”, di ko na kaya kailangang magprocess ng DOST Clearance para sa NBI Clearnce? Anyone out there who has an idea. Thanks!

    1. needed ang temporary (not service) DOST Clearance so you can be issued NBI clearance…
      when you’re done with service, DOST can give you the service clearance which allows you to be issued NBI clearance anytime (no more need for temp clearances from DOST) and your name can be erased from NBI watchlist..

      from the recent call i made from DOST, when you are cleared..you are given by DOST only 2 letters: service clearance and letter to NBI Head. It used to include BOI and DFA but not anymore. The one i talked over the phone said herself our names are lifted from BOI list, as far as being a scholar is concern.

      For those who were able to travel this year and no service clearance yet, tell us your stories/ experience guys 🙂

      1. clarification needed…

        being clear from BOI of any DR has nothing to do with being in the NBI watchlist?
        are you saying that we might be clear from BOI but our names are still on the NBI watchlist?

      2. Yeah, that’s what im thinking now. NBI tlga ang pinakabottle neck when you’re planning to go out of the country since you still have to get a temporary clearance from DOST so your NBI clearance will be released!

        1. di naman ako kumuha ng NBI clearance during my travel in 2010, it was for a company training… i had all the docs: temporary clearance, letters to NBI, BoI, and DFA heads. nakalabas din naman ng bansa. you can call any DOST offices, open naman sila to answer all questions. not sure anu ng process nila for temp clearance..matagal na rin yun sa kin. 🙂

  59. Hi, I was a DOST scholar and this is my last year of required service. I have a scheduled flight to HK on July 17, but I haven’t processed my temporary clearance yet. I called DOST, they said the memo is just temporary and that it is still best to have a clearance at hand when needed. I have a few questions, hope you can help me. 1. I was planning to submit a Deed of Undertaking. When I submit the document to DOST, kailangan pa bang kasama si co-maker? 2. After a temp clearance is issued, do I have to pass it to BI? Or OK na sa airport nalang i-pass sa BI officers? Sorry, first time ko palang lalabas ng country. Any advice will be greatly appreciated. 😉 -Yin

      1. Hi, I was a DOST scholar but didnt finish the 5 year term. Only used it for a year because i decided to take a different course. Does this memorandum apply to me considering the circumstances? Do i still need to secure anything from DOST like a temporary clearance for me travel abroad. Would greatly appreciate your advice. Thank you! —Onat

  60. hi guys, hope you can help clarify this. in order to get the final clearance from DOST, kelangan ba na ung work no nirender mo dito sa Pinas is related sa course mo? thanks!

  61. hi guys! i’m applying for an australian visa, and was asked to submit a copy of my NBI clearance. unfortunately i’ve always been on the hit list due to my MS scholarship, which i am still finishing. i’ve tried securing for a temporary clearance just so i don’t lose this opportunity to no avail. i need it asap. any thoughts on how i can get it without paying?

  62. Hello there guys! Hope this would help.

    I have an MS scholarship from DOST and will travel out of the country on December. I am planning to secure a clearance from the DOST, but according to my 2 friends, both DOST scholars, one from MS and one BS graduate, the immigration officer did not look for any clearance at the airport when they went to Japan months ago.

    One of them even traveled to Japan again, i think last week or 2 weeks ago, without securing a clearance since the immigration officer didn’t ask for it the first time. That friend is in Japan right now.

    When it comes to processing the clearance, you can get it in 1 to 2 weeks, if you keep badgering the person in charge. 🙂

  63. Hi everyone! I got my NBI clearance (purpose: VISA AUSTRALIA) without hits 🙂 I still don’t have my final clearance from DOST tho.

  64. has anyone here experienced working abroad without paying the bond? a friend of mine plans to to work abroad pero hindi pa tapos ang service nya. and she cant afford to pay the bond. may plan naman siyang bumalik sa pinas. napansin ko kasi ang issues niyo ay puro about sa travel. what about for those who plan to work abroad? meron na bang may experience dito sa processes na kailangan? salamat!

  65. Hi dost scholars. Can i apply for a passport kahit hindi p ako clear s DOST? Last year,i got married to an american citizen and ung petition ko under process na. Theyre getting my passport number. Can i apply for a passport without clearance?i submitted my certificate of emmployment s DOST pro tagal ng feedback.ms abbie,from dost,said i should wait an email from her. Its been 2 weeks and i need to have a passport very soon

    1. Hi! Why dont you try first? My fiance visa to OZ is underway. Got my passport, NBI and what nots without getting clearance from DOST. And yesterday I went to BOI and got my clearance from them. Accdg to BOI, all govt scholars were removed from their watchlist since the 2012 memo took effect. Btw, clearance is 1,010 pesos and will be released the following day.

      1. Hi Hannah! Where did you get the BOI clearance? Taft ba? Hopefully I’ll get mine too. What are the requirements?

  66. CHED scholar ako at hindi ko natapos ang masters ko, pero nakapunta ako ng US na walang hinanap sa akin sa immigration at until now nasa US pa din ako

  67. Anyone
    tried doing this recently? I am going for a quick trip abroad and due
    to hectic work schedules I am simply too busy to go to their office for
    clearance. I often asked for one when I was a student and had a lot of
    time but they never asked for a clearance sa immigration. This is the
    first time I will travel without one, meron ba nabblock recently or wala
    na talaga? Aalis na kasi ako sa Tuesday. Also, I had to apply for a VISA for this trip and I was approved. Considering that the visa folk usually have to go through immigration records before they grant a visa, does this mean I will be able to travel without a hit in the immigration section at the airport? Tyia!

  68. Hi, required po ba ang clearance talaga from BOI? hindi po ba pwedeng pumunta na lang sa airport directly since wala na naman pala tayo sa watchlist?

  69. Hi, is the memo still effective to date? Has anyone traveled outside of the country without any clearance? Thanks!

  70. Hi guys, i was able to leave the country and travel for 2 days in MY last July 22-23, 2014. I did not work on my clearance because it was really time consuming and lots of documents are needed. What i did is go to the immgiration and have a free checking if i have derogatory records. There i found out that i dont have any. The staff at immigration told me to ask for a clearance in DOST and revert to them to stamp the document. But i was too busy then so i really did not push going to taguig for the clearance. I did not also ask for a clearance from immigratory saying that i have no records ( it cost 1k+). Neverhteless, i was able to get pass thru the immigration at the airport and hola, im back in pH after two days.hehe

  71. Hi co-scholars, wala pa din akong service clearance, two years lang bond ko sa DOST since my Masters degree lang naman ang utang ko sa kanila. I went to Malaysia and SG last year, I just acquired a temporary clearance from DOST which I needed to show daw sa Immigration once nasa airport na ako. Pero hindi naman hinanap kaya nakaalis ako ng hassle free. Pero prior to my trip last year, I had to renew my passport, ayon, nasa hitlist ako ng DFA, kaya I had to acquire a temporary clearance from DOST then show that to the DFA main branch para makapag process ng passport.

    This year,Im going abroad again for a vacation, hindi na ako kukuha ng temporary clearance sa DOST, sana hindi ulit hanapin sa airport immigration.

  72. Hello Guys,

    Last 2009 kumuha na ako ng nbi clearance and this year need to get a new one..required pa bang kumuha ulit ng certification letter from DOST para sa renewal ng nbi clearance ko? Anyone need your advice..


    1. Karamihan nasa hit list, yung ibang ma swerte wala. Kaka galing ko lng ng NBI kanina, and nasa hit list name ko. Balik daw ulit ako ng September 30, 2015. 😀

  73. Hi, is the memo still effective to date? Has anyone traveled outside of the country without any clearance? Thanks! (2)

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