7 Vietnamese nationals barred entry to the Philippines

Marje Pelayo   •   February 11, 2021   •   305

MANILA, Philippines The Bureau of Immigration (BI) at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) has denied the entry of seven Vietnamese nationals found to be misrepresenting the purpose of their travel.

A statement released by the immigration bureau said the seven Vietnamese were intercepted on separate occasions at the NAIA Terminal 2 arrival area after flying in from Ho Chi Minh City and Singapore.

“We intercepted the first batch of three passengers on February 9, and denied their entry to the country,” BI Port Operations Division Chief Atty. Candy Tan stated in her report.

“However, we were surprised to find that another four arrived the following day,” she added.

The officer said the group showed that they were endorsed by an IT and business solutions company in the Philippines. 

However, when asked how they are connected to said company, all seven gave conflicting answers and admitted they only met at the Vietnam International Airport.

“When asked, they had no knowledge of IT or the workings of their alleged company.  They were unable to establish their purpose of travel,” Tan said.

“Hence they were excluded and boarded on the next available flight back to their port of origin,” she added.

The seven were excluded under Section 29(a) 5 of the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940.

BI Commissioner Jaime Morente reminded port personnel to strictly monitor arriving passengers despite the easing of travel restrictions in the country. 

“All immigration officers must strictly assess arriving passengers to ensure the legitimacy of their purpose of travel,” said Morente.

Phl extends travel ban; allows aliens with travel exemption

Marje Pelayo   •   April 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has announced that foreigners who were given entry documents prior to the implementation of last month’s travel ban may now enter the country.

In an advisory issued by the Bureau, Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said foreigners with entry exemption documents issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) before March 22 are now allowed to enter the country amid an extension of travel restrictions to April 30.

The revised rule is pursuant to the latest resolution of the Inter-Agency Task on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).

Morente said other foreign nationals are still prohibited from entering the Philippines and that the Balikbayan privilege for former Filipinos remains suspended.

“The foreign parents, spouse, and children of Filipinos may enter the country, provided they are traveling with the Filipino principal, and have a valid entry visa,” he said on Sunday (April 18).

Based on the IATF’s policy, aliens with valid entry visas currently allowed to enter the country include:

* Diplomats and members of international organizations with valid 9(e) or 47(a) (2) visas;
* Those involved in medical repatriation endorsed by the DFA and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA); and
* Seafarers with 9(c) visa for crew change; and (4) those with emergency, humanitarian and analogous cases approved by the chairperson of the National Task Force Against Covid-19 (NTF) or his authorized representative.

Morente said travel exemptions are without prejudice to the mandate of the BI to conduct strict screening and formalities on all arriving foreigners.

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

Marje Pelayo   •   April 8, 2021

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.

DepEd gets new gadgets, school supplies from BOC

Marje Pelayo   •   March 17, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) NAIA on Tuesday, March 16, donated various educational gadgets and other school supplies to the Department of Education (DepEd) in support of the Department’s Bridge Program.

The donation of abandoned goods consists of flash drives, cellphones, 74 V7 monitors, 50 Fuji Xerox Multifunction Printers, Laptops , Routers, 14 ZTE Pocket WIFI, Lenovo Tablet, Computer Monitors, school bags, educational books, and children school shoes.
In his statement Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero expressed the continuing support of the BOC to the DepEd.

“We understand the needs of the students especially during this time that education is hindered by the threat of COVID-19. We will continue to support DepEd’s programs to provide quality education to our students,” he said.

For her part Secretary Briones thanked the Bureau for its continuous support to DepEd and the Department’s Bridge and Distant Learning Program.

She also shared that the first donation of BOC consisting of mobile phones and laptops are now being distributed to schools in far flung areas.

Finance Undersecretary Antonette Tionko on the other hand expressed hope that the devices and goods turned over to the DepEd would help address the digital gap and ensure continuous education, promoting the utmost welfare of learners and educators amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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