BI records entry of 2K foreigners after reopening tourism, sees 12K arrivals by month-end

By: Christia Marie Ramos - Reporter / @CMRamosINQ - Inquirer.net | February 11,2022 - 02:16 PM

WELCOME SIGN Foreign travelers arrive at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Parañaque City on Thursday as the country further relaxes rules for fully vaccinated visitors. —RICHARD A. REYES

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) recorded over 8,000 arrivals — about 30 percent of which are foreigners — on the first day of eased restrictions on fully vaccinated foreign travelers.

“Marami-rami po yung dumating kahapon during the first day of implementation nitong pago-open po natin ng borders,” BI Spokesperson Dana Sandoval said during Friday’s Laging Handa briefing.

(There were relatively a lot of arrivals recorded during the first day of the implementation of opening up our borders.)

“Kahapon po nagtala po tayo ng mahigit sa 8,000 na arrivals [Yesterday, we recorded 8,000 arrivals),” she added.

Sandoval said of the 8,000 arrivals, 27 to 30 percent are foreigners, or approximately 2,000 travelers.

The number of international arrivals is expected to gradually increase in the coming days by 20 to 30 percent, according to Sandoval.

“Hopefully, we will be reaching nasa [around] 10,000 to 12,000 by the end of the month,” she added.

On Thursday, Feb. 10, the Philippines started allowing the entry of foreign nationals arriving from visa-required countries and restricted foreign nationals subject to certain requirements.

The country also allowed entry of fully vaccinated tourists from 157 countries that have visa-free arrangements with the Philippines.

Sandoval said four foreigners were denied entry on Thursday over the lack of proper documentation.

“It’s the BOQ (Bureau of Quarantine) that confirms kung ito po ba ay legitimate, kung ito po ba ay readable or within the guidelines set by the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases),” she explained.

(It’s the BOQ (Bureau of Quarantine) that confirms if the documents are legitimate, readable and comply with the guidelines set by the IATF.)

“Once makita po ng BOQ na hindi po tugma dun sa guidelines ng IATF o di kaya nagkaroon ng falsification dun sa kanilang mga vaccination cards, they turn it over po to the Bureau of Immigration, who implements the exclusion of the foreign nationals,” she added.

(Once the BOQ sees that a document goes against the IATF guidelines or if the vaccination card is falsified, they turn it over to the Bureau of Immigration, who implements the exclusion of the foreign nationals.)

Meanwhile, Sandoval assured that the BI continues to strictly implement minimum health standards in areas where immigration procedures are held.

“Talagang sinisigurado po natin na ang immigration areas po natin ay clear po at hindi po nagsisiksikan at nasisigurado po natin ang implementation po ng strict social distancing sa area,” she said.

(We are really making sure that our immigration areas are clear and there’s no crowding of people and we are ensuring the implementation of strict social distancing.)

EDV

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TAGS: arrivals, BI, Bureau of Immigration, foreigners, international arrivals

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