Getting Marble’s export permit was a bit difficult, but not because of the process itself. It was getting there that was annoying. Before we headed down to the BAI, we had to stop by the vet to pick up her health certificate. The vet didn’t have a printer in the office so we couldn’t get it on the spot. The problem with that is that the vet is sort of out of the way when it comes to getting transportation to Manila from Antipolo. It is on the road that leads out of town though, so instead of backtracking to the center of town to get an air conditioned FX (a passenger SUV that’s been converted for public transportation) we walked out to the curb and flagged down a Jeepney instead. Thankfully, it was overcast and kinda cool with the breeze since the windows stay open in the passenger area except when it’s raining. Unfortunately, that also meant we got dusty and had black boogers later.
After seeing the AVA’s offices in the Ministry of National Development building in Singapore, I was a bit underwhelmed by the appearance of the building, but I suppose it’s no worse than some of the building’s I’ve seen used as government offices in the US.
Despite the appearance of this place, the people inside were very efficient and very friendly. The e-mail I’d received from one of the people that works there said the wait time for the export permit was about an hour, but I had everything I needed and was out the door in about 20 minutes. I did have to go around the back of the building to get a dry notary seal stamped into the form, but that only added another 10 minutes, most of which was walking.
The best part of it was that I got the export permit and they converted the veterinary health certificate to a government health certificate (which I didn’t expect), all for the low, low price of free. That’s surprising. The import permit was 650 PHP (about 15 USD). The export permit fee and the fee for the government health certificate in Singapore were 50 SGD (about 38 USD) apiece. I guess that’s how they paid for that big fancy building.
With this out of the way, the only thing left to do with Marble is to stick her in a carrier and show up at the airport with her. I do have to find a hotel that will let me stay there with her in Manila for the night before the flight though. It’s at 7:30 in the morning and it’s impossible to make the commute to Manila at 3:30 AM (it’s 2 hours one way, roughly).
UPDATE (2016): BAI Philippines has a Facebook page with updated contact information available. Click here.
Update (2017): This is a Flickr slideshow of pictures of the cat carrier my wife used in 2011 to bring two cats from the Philippines to New York City. Please note the bolts that were added to the carrier after-market. Make sure you do that. Also, zip-ties were added at the built-in latch points to further secure the carrier. I would bring zip-ties to the airport so that you can secure the door after the airport personnel are satisfied that they don’t have to open the door. Include a bowl for water and food. Ask that your pet be provided with water. Put blankets in the carrier so your pet(s) can stay warm.
Most importantly, keep this as your second or last option. Check with your airline to see if you can bring your pet in the cabin with you in a smaller pet carrier. Check with your airline for permission and/or requirements and fees.