MANILA, Philippines – Chinese nationals top the list of foreigners who were barred from entering the Philippines in 2019 after they were found lacking documents or ineligible to enter or stay in the country, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) reported on Thursday.
BI port operations division chief Grifton Medina said around 3,527 Chinese were denied entry last year, followed by 488 Vietnamese.
Some 329 Indonesians and 255 Malaysians were also among those prohibited to enter and stay in the Philippines.
Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said a total of 7,724 foreigners were barred from entering the country in 2019 or 65 percent higher than the 4,679 aliens who were turned back in ports in 2018.
“They were turned back by immigration officers who, after the conduct of primary and secondary inspection, found that they were improperly documented, or ineligible to enter and stay in the Philippines,” Morente said in a statement.
He added that the aliens were immediately booked on the first available flight to back to their port of origin.
He also stressed that immigration officers have the authority to assess and decide if an arriving foreign national is eligible to be admitted into the country as a temporary visitor.
“A foreigner may be excluded if he is improperly documented, or the immigration officer deems that his presence or stay here is inimical to the national interest and public welfare,” Morente said.
The bureau also said that nearly two-thirds of the excluded aliens were tagged as likely to become public charges, or persons whose reasons for entry to the Philippines is doubtful, lacks the means to support their stay in the country, and were unable to explain their purpose in traveling to the Philippines.
“The others who were turned back were improperly documented aliens, convicted sex offenders, rude passengers, blacklisted foreigners, and those without entry visas,” it said.