Aliens not traveling with Filipino kin not allowed to enter PH during travel ban — BI

Marje Pelayo   •   April 8, 2021   •   256

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Thursday (April 8) announced anew that foreign parents, spouses and children of Filipino citizens cannot enter the Philippines if they are not traveling with the latter.

In a statement, BI Commissioner Jaime Morente reiterated that said existing guidelines on international travel set by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) do not allow the entry of foreign parents, spouses, and children of Filipinos if they are traveling alone.

Also, said foreigners should possess valid visas secured in the country’s foreign posts abroad to be able to enter the country.

Morente added that the Balikbayan privilege, which allows the visa-free entry of foreign spouses and children of Filipinos, remains suspended.

The reminder was issued following reports that a handful of aliens were denied at the airports for attempting to enter the country without their Filipino spouse, children, or parent.

Morente stressed that airlines are directed to ensure that only foreigners eligible to enter the country during the implementation of the travel restrictions are allowed to board their Philippine-bound flights.

The Philippines reimposed a ban on the entry of foreigners last month amid the resurgence in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country.

The ban, which started last March 22, remains in effect until April 21.

Aside from prohibiting the entry of foreigners, the IATF also ordered a reduction in the number of inbound international travelers to only 1,500 a day.

Immigration Bureau to impose travel ban expansion in 4 countries starting May 7

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 7, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has expanded its restriction to travelers from four countries beginning May 7.

In an advisory, the Immigration Bureau announced that they will be implementing restrictions for travelers coming from Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh starting May 7.

However, passengers who will only be transiting through India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh, will be allowed to enter. They will only be required to undergo a strict 14-day quarantine.

“Those who would be coming prior to May 7 will be allowed, but will be referred to the appropriate agencies to undergo a strict absolute facility-based 14-day quarantine and RT-PCR testing,” said BI Commissioner Jaime Morente.

Meanwhile, BI Port Operations Division (POD) Chief Atty. Carlos Capulong clarified that the spouse and children of Filipinos or former Filipinos who are traveling to the Philippines without the Filipino or former Filipino spouse or parent may only be allowed upon the presentation of a valid 9(a) visa and an exemption document from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

“This is in compliance with the resolution of the Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases, temporarily banning the entry of aliens holding temporary visitors’ visas,” said Capulong. -AAC

PH temporarily bans entry of travelers from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka

Robie de Guzman   •   May 5, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines has expanded its entry ban on travelers to include those coming from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka amid the surge in COVID-19 cases.

In a memorandum dated May 5, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said the travel ban will be effective from May 7 to 14.

Medialdea said passengers coming from or who have been to the said countries within 14 days immediately preceding arrival in the Philippines shall be prohibited from entering the country.

Passengers coming from or who have been to the same countries within 14 days and are arriving before the travel ban will be allowed entry but shall undergo facility-based quarantine for 14 days notwithstanding a negative RT-PCR test result, he added.

The memorandum also stated that all passengers, whether Filipinos or foreigners, merely transiting through these countries shall not be subjected to the procedures as long as they stayed in the airport the whole time and were not cleared for entry into these countries by their immigration authorities.

They also do not need to complete the 14-day quarantine period once they arrive in the Philippines, provided that they comply with existing testing and quarantine protocols of the national government.

The Philippine government earlier banned travelers from India from April 29 to May 14 due to the surge in COVID-19 cases there. The coronavirus variant first reported in India has not yet been detected in the Philippines.

BI gears up to impose travel ban on India; clarifies ban not ‘nationality-specific’

Marje Pelayo   •   April 28, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) is gearing up in preparation for the imposed restrictions for travelers coming from India.

The resolution issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) bars the entry of travelers coming from India or those with a travel history to India within the last 14 days preceding arrival beginning April 29 until May 14.

“We will implement this measure seen by the IATF as our response to the emerging situation in India,” said Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente.

The said ban has been imposed following the detection and spread of a new covid variant first detected in India.

“The IATF deems that this proactive restriction must be put in place to slow down the surge in COVID-19 cases, stop further spread of variants, and allow the health system to prepare, essentially protecting more lives,” he added.

Port Operations Division Chief Atty. Carlos Capulong clarified, however, that the travel ban is not specific to any nationality but it applies to any traveler coming from the region.

“We are conducting 100% passport inspection to determine the travel history of an arriving person,” he said.

“If we see that the traveler has been to India within the last 14 days, then he will be excluded and boarded on the next available flight back to his port of origin,” he added.

Capulong added that they are not expecting incoming passengers from India as the IATF resolution clearly stated that airlines are directed not to allow the boarding of passengers pursuant to travel restrictions.

Passengers already in transit who will arrive before April 29 may be allowed, but will be referred to the appropriate agencies for stricter quarantine and testing protocols, to be subjected to an absolute facility-based 14-day quarantine period, the official concluded.

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