1. Will I get a refund of my payment?
Answer: Yes, students will be provided a refund of their payment. This is notwithstanding the fact that a reservation slot has been made and paid to the host company in Thailand and for some schools, all the processes to obtain all their pertinent documents for CHED SIAP like visa and CHED permit have been secured for their flight to Thailand. The slots have been guaranteed upon down payment and for some, their scheduled flight has been stopped by the IATF when the Philippine government closed all its borders for international flights because of Covid19 restrictions. Further, this is notwithstanding the fact that the cause of halting the flight of the students is beyond the control of J8 and that all payments have been made by J8 for their flight tickets, accommodation and food for 6 months, daily work transfers and other pre-operating expenses such as ocular visit by school officials in Thailand are non-refundable.
2. What is the process of refund?
Answer: J8 will simply refund the students and students will have nothing to do or submit for this process.
3. Why is the refund process taking so long?
Answer: J8 recognizes the fact that students are in need of their refund as everyone else during this trying time. However, J8 is also bounded by provisions of its contracts in Thailand for the internship of students. Since no one has anticipated the pandemic, students’ payment to J8 has been used in full to pay all its obligations in Thailand in order for the students to be accepted for internship. As an industry practice, students are only given internship slot if their accommodation, food and daily work transfers are settled by J8 in full 2 months or so prior to the arrival of students. Hence, the students were required to pay a down payment or settle their fees in full prior to their scheduled flight. This industry practice was the norm in order to avoid the mal-practices of students of cutting-off their internship ahead of time, going back to Philippines prior to end of their training and such other practices that would compromise the normal operation of the host hotel. Because of this, it has also been the practice in the industry that all payments made in Thailand to fulfil the internship of the students are non-refundable. But because of the extra ordinary situation during the corona virus pandemic, the host hotels have agreed to replace the students with another set of student trainees to arrive anytime when the situation normalizes. Hence, no refund is provided by the host hotels but they have agreed that all payments made can be utilized by new set of student trainees.
4. When will I get the refund?
Answer: J8 can provide for the refund of the students when a new set of trainees as their replacements will arrive in Thailand. This may seem a long wait but we encourage the students to be little more understanding and patient about this one. When the Philippine government particularly CHED will lift the memorandum on sending students abroad, everything else will follow that we can provide for refund. Since the SIAP program is a government program under CHED, the control of this is their prerogative. By the looks of it, CHED is slowly loosening up its policies on internship. It has already started allowing students and schools to do a face to face domestic internship. It is our hope that next semester, face to face international internship (SIAP) will now be allowed by CHED. By then, we can now have replacement trainees. We are confident about having replacement trainees because of the nature of the BS Tourism and BS HRM programs where international exposure is an important component in these courses.
5. Why is it that it’s not easy for J8 to refund? It has been taking them so long.
Answer: We have to assure our students that J8 is primarily concern to refund the students but it lacks financial capacity as of now since J8 has not gotten to normal operation since March 2020. As a micro enterprise, J8 has no financial means to refund the students of more than 4 million pesos in total without going back to normal operation. Normal operation for J8 means the Philippine government and CHED will allow schools to send students for international internship under the SIAP program. J8 is confident that the end of waiting for this to happen is within reach and we want to give assurance that once flights are allowed, first in the agenda of J8 is to provide for the refund of the students.
6. Can I still proceed for internship in Thailand?
Answer: Students have 2 options: to refund or to fly to Thailand for the Language and Internship Program (LIP). If a student wants to continue to fly to Thailand, the LIP is the option. With LIP, no charges will be made to the students notwithstanding the fact that a new visa will be secured and new ticket will be purchased. However, students can only fly for LIP when the Philippine government will allow this and the Thai government will likewise provide visa for this purpose. We are confident however that this will be happening soon as international borders are slowly being re-opened.