Holders of temporary visitors visa may get ECCs at int’l airports —BI

Robie de Guzman   •   March 28, 2020   •   773

MANILA, Philippines – Holders of temporary visitors visa who have stayed in the country for less than a year may temporarily get their Emigration Clearance Certificates (ECC) at any international airports in the country, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said.

In a statement, Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said the measure follows the implementation of enhanced community quarantine in Luzon to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

An ECC is issued to temporary visitors who have stayed in the country for more than six months, and to holders of residence, work, or students visas who wish to leave the country for good.

Morente said the bureau has also suspended biometrics capturing and fingerprinting, and the issuance of Special Registration Numbers (SSRN) as requirements for the processing of ECCs to ensure compliance with physical distancing directives.

“The Bureau complied with the directive from Malacañang by continuing to operate with a skeletal workforce,” he said in a statement.

“We have put this temporary measure in place to prevent the influx of foreign nationals leaving the country who will be applying to process their ECCs, essentially minimizing physical contact with the traveling public,” he added.

Morente said they will still counter match the applications with their derogatory database to ensure that no foreigner with a pending case will be able to leave the country.

“We will still conduct derogatory records checking before giving clearance to ensure that any foreign national who wishes to leave the country has no pending obligation with the government,” he said.

The bureau earlier issued an advisory suspending several transactions in Luzon, including tourist visa extensions except for foreign nationals intending to depart the country.

In the said directive, aliens whose visas will expire during the enhanced community quarantine may file for extension after the quarantine period without penalty.

PH Immigration deports 10 more illegal aliens

Robie de Guzman   •   June 30, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Tuesday said it has deported 10 more illegal aliens detained at its warden facility in Taguig City.

In a statement, the BI said the 10 foreigners include eight Chinese nationals and two Mongolians.

They departed from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport via separate flights bound for China last June 19, 24 and 25.

“All of them have been placed on the immigration blacklist of undesirable aliens upon orders of our board of commissioners. Thus, they are now banned from re-entering the Philippines,” BI port operations chief Grifton Medina said.

It was learned that five of the Chinese deportees are wanted in their country for economic crimes due to their involvement in illegal online gaming operations and telecom fraud.

The three other Chinese nationals were deported for overstaying and committing fraud and misrepresentation, while the two Mongolians are alleged female sex workers caught in one of the raids of prostitution dens in Metro Manila last year.

According to Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente, the deportation was carried out as part of the bureau’s efforts to decongest and prevent the spread of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at its detention facility located in Camp Bagong Diwa.

“We will continue to send home these foreign inmates once they have been issued deportation orders and provided they have no pending criminal cases in court,” Morente said.

“We are doing this to safeguard the health not only of the foreign detainees but also that of our personnel assigned to our warden facility,” he added.

The BI earlier reported it had deported seven Chinese nationals who are facing charges for economic crimes and illegal black sand mining.

BI: 16,000 foreign, Filipino seafarers cleared at Manila port

Robie de Guzman   •   June 26, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – More than 16,000 Filipino and foreign seafarers from cruise ships that arrived and anchored at the Manila Bay have been processed and cleared during the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said Friday.

In a statement, the BI said a total of 16,287 sailors were cleared by boarding inspectors – 11,189 of which are Filipinos while 5,098 are foreign nationals.

The bureau said they disembarked from 42 vessels between April 16 to June 15 after undergoing quarantine and getting tested aboard their ships.

The BI added that around 2,300 seafarers remain quarantined aboard their vessels.

Repatriated Filipino seafarers are immediately transported to their places of residence through the help of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration.

Foreign seafarers, on the other hand, are only allowed to disembark upon presentation of a confirmed outbound plane ticket to their country of origin. Immigration personnel will escort them to the airport on the date and time of their scheduled departure, the agency said.

Foreign sailors with Filipino spouses are also allowed to disembark and join their families, provided that they submit a letter-request, marriage certificate, photocopy of passport of Filipino spouse, negative COVID-19 swab test result, and endorsement from the Department of Foreign Affairs, the bureau added.

The BI also shared that last June 11, a group of 122 Sri Lankan seafarers were repatriated to their homeland at the request of their embassy in Manila.

BI blacklists 21 Chinese nationals for overstaying in PH

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 24, 2020

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has blacklisted 21 Chinese nationals for overstaying without valid justification.

The 21 Chinese nationals arrived in the country on separate dates last December and January and availed of the government’s Visa Upon Arrival (VUA) program.

BI Commissioner Jaime Morente issued the blacklist after the Bureau directed the aliens to immediately leave the country after they have updated their stay and paid the required fees, fines and penalties.

“As a consequence of their being placed in our blacklist, these Chinese nationals are now barred from re-entering the Philippines for violating the conditions of their stay,” he said.

The VUA program is a landed visa scheme that the government launched three years ago to attract more Chinese tourists into the country. It was previously suspending by the BI last January due to the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan and other places in China. AAC

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