Aliens in PH urged to pre-pay reentry fees at BI offices

Marje Pelayo   •   January 22, 2020   •   528

MANILA, Philippines—All foreign residents in the country departing for vacation ahead of the Chinese New Year are advised to process reentry fees before leaving for abroad, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said.

BI Port Operations Division Chief Grifton Medina issued the appeal to reduce the volume of travelers lining up to pay their reentry fees at Immigration cashiers of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

“We are expecting a surge of Chinese residents in the Philippines who wish to spend the Chinese New Year abroad,” said Medina.

“It may result in heavy congestion of our airports, which could be avoided if they process and pay their fees before heading to the airport,” he added.

Medina said aliens may proceed to BI satellite offices to pay before they proceed to the airport.

This would also lessen worries of not catching their flights as they could directly proceed to visa counters.

The Philippine Immigration law requires foreign nationals who are holders of valid immigrant and non-immigrant visas to pay exit and re-entry permits every time they leave the country.

Official receipt of payment must be presented at Immigration counters before they can be cleared for departure.

“The BI has almost 60 offices nationwide that may cater to this need. It’s a very quick process, which will only take a few minutes,” Medina explained.

“We also have offices located in malls and other convenient locations,” he said. “Coming to the airport with the receipt at hand makes processing faster, allowing departing aliens to avoid the rush and relax before their flight,” he added.

The Philippines is home to thousands of Chinese immigrants and non-immigrants.

According to Chinese traditions, they should at least visit their homeland for the celebration of Chinese New Year, which is on January 25.

Higher pay awaits employees reporting for work on February 12, 25

Marje Pelayo   •   February 11, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Workers in the private sector who will work during the declared holidays this February are set to receive higher pays, according to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III.

This is pursuant to Labor Advisory No. 2, series of 2021 issued by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) which prescribes the proper payment of wages for the declared Special (Non-Working) Days on February 12 in line with the celebration of the Chinese New Year and on the 25th which is the commemoration of the anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution.

It can be noted that President Rodrigo Duterte issued Proclamation No. 986 on July 30, 2020, which sets February 12 and 25, 2021 as special non-working holidays.

Bello said that employees who will report to work on the said holidays shall be paid an additional 30 percent of their basic wage in the first eight hours. Their basic wage shall be multiplied by 130 percent plus COLA.

However, if employees did not work, the “no work, no pay” principle shall apply unless there is a favorable company policy, practice, or a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) granting payment on a special day.

If the workers had rendered their duty in excess of eight hours, they will be paid an additional 30 percent on their hourly rate.

While for work done during a special day that also falls on the workers’ rest day, they shall be paid an additional 50 percent of their basic wage on the first eight hours of work, and if done in excess of eight hours (overtime work), they shall be paid an additional 30 percent of their hourly rate.

Thus, the computation will be “hourly rate of the basic wage x 150 percent x by 130 percent x number of hours worked.”

BI reminds registered aliens: 2021 annual report only until March 1

Marje Pelayo   •   February 10, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) reminds all foreign nationals in the country that they have only until March 1 to appear in person to the agency for their 2021 annual report.

BI Commissioner Jaime Morente stressed that this year’s annual report of aliens will not be extended.

Under the Alien Registration Act of 1950, all aliens with immigrant and non-immigrant visas are required to report in person to the BI within the first 60 days of every calendar year.

Morente warned that any failure to comply with the report may result in fines, visa cancelation, deportation, or imprisonment.”

Morente also advised foreigners who have not yet made the report to immediately register with the BI’s online appointment system at http://e-services.immigration.gov.ph to obtain their slots. 

Only 800 slots are reserved per day, Morente said, while Saturdays are reserved to accredited entities and remote reporting for bulk applicants.

Meanwhile, BI alien registration division chief Atty. Jose Carlitos Licas reminded that foreigners who are out of the country during the 60-day period can still make the report within 30 days upon their return to the country, provided their re-entry permits are still valid.

Aside from the BI main office in Intramuros, Manila, aliens may also report to the nearest participating BI field, satellite or extension office.

Manila LGU cancels all Chinese New Year events this year

Marje Pelayo   •   January 29, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The city government of Manila has cancelled all activities for the celebration of Chinese New Year this year.

Mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso announced the directive on Friday (January 29) pursuant to Executive Order No. 4 series of 2021.

This directive prohibits the conduct of the traditional dragon dance, street party, stage show, parade or any other similar activity supposedly set for the celebration from February 11 to 12.

Domagoso said the directive is ultimately to avoid a new outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country’s capital.

“The activities during the (Chinese) New Year celebration, if not cancelled, can be surely an easy medium of COVID-19 spread and transmission, thereby endangering the health, well-being and safety not only of residents but also their visitors who will join them in the celebration,” Domagoso said.

“This cancellation is all the more compelling due to reports of (a new) COVID-19 variant entering the country,” the Mayor added.

Also in relation to the celebration, Mayor Domagoso advised the Chinese community in the city that the use of firecracker and pyrotechnic devices during the celebration is likewise prohibited to ensure the safety of the public.

Liquor sale has also been banned in the Binondo Chinatown area for the duration of the celebration.

“All barangay officials of the city are hereby directed to take the necessary measures to ensure the effective and efficient implementation of this executive order,” Domagoso said.

“The police and barangay authorities are directed to ensure compliance with IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) Omnibus Guidelines on the strict wearing of full-face coverage face shields and face masks outside of residence and social distancing,” he added.

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