PH to allow entry of more foreigners starting May 1 — Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   April 30, 2021   •   588

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines, on May 1,  will lift its ban on the entry of some foreign nationals except for those coming from India or those with travel history to the said country, Malacañang said Friday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) has allowed the entry of foreign nationals permitted under previous IATF resolutions but will be subject to the following conditions:

  • They must have a valid and existing visa at the time of entry, except for those qualified under Balikbayan Program
  • They must have pre-booked accommodation for at least seven nights in an accredited quarantine hotel or facility
  • They must subject to COVID-19 testing at the quarantine hotel/facility on the sixth (6th) day from the date of arrival
  • They are subject to the maximum capacity of inbound passengers at the port and the date of entry

“Simula a-uno po ng Mayo, puwede pong makapasok at pinapayagang pumasok base sa mga nakaraang IATF resolution ang ilang mga dayuhan… Pero karamihan po ito ay iyong mga nangangalakal, iyong mga investors, visa holders at long-term visa holders,” Roque said during a Laging Handa briefing.

The entry ban on most foreigners was imposed on March 22 until April 30 due to rising COVID-19 cases in the Philippines.

Under previous IATF resolutions, the following foreign nationals allowed entry to the Philippines:

  • Diplomats
  • Members of international organization and their dependents holding valid 9(e) visa of 47(a)(2), as the case may be, at the time of entry
  • Foreigners involved in medical repatriation endorsed by the DFA Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration provided that they have a valid visa at the time of entry
  • Foreign seafarers under the “green lanes” program for a crew change, provided that they hold a 9(c) crew list visa at the time of entry
  • Foreign spouses and children of Filipino citizens traveling with them, provided that they have valid visas at the time of entry
  • Emergency, humanitarian, and other analogous cases approved by the NTF vs COVID-19 chairperson or his duly authorized representative, provided that they have valid visas at the time of entry

“Travel restrictions, however, shall continue to be in effect for those coming from India or those with travel history to India, as imposed by IATF Resolution No. 112,” Roque said in a separate statement.

The Philippines has barred the entry of travelers from India from April 29 to May 14 due to the surge of COVID-19 infections attributed to a “double-mutant” coronavirus variant.

“All these are without prejudice to immigration rules and regulations. The Commissioner of Immigration shall have the exclusive prerogative to decide on the waiver or recall of exclusion orders of foreign nationals, subject to regular reporting to the IATF Secretariat,” Roque said.

The Bureau of Immigration has also been directed to formulate the necessary guidelines to ensure its smooth implementation, the Palace said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Enrile advises Duterte to ignore critics of foreign policy; keep friendly approach on West PH Sea issue

Robie de Guzman   •   May 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile advised President Rodrigo Duterte not to mind people who are criticizing his foreign policy, particularly on the issue involving China and the disputed areas in the West Philippine Sea.

During Duterte’s pre-recorded public address late Monday, Enrile told the president to just let his critics ramble on and to not engage them on the issue.

“That’s the best thing Mr. President. Pabayaan mo na lang sila,” Enrile said.

“After all Mr. President, you are only responsible to the Filipino people, and you are not responsible to any specific person for your foreign policy. Yours is to protect the interest of the nation and its people in the best way you can,” he added.

Duterte invited Enrile to Malacañang to speak on the issue concerning West Philippine Sea, the role in the issue of some officials, particularly former Senator Antonio Trillanes and former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, and why the Philippines lost access to the Scarborough Shoal during the Aquino administration.

“Alam na ngayon ng mga tao kug bakit hindi ako sumasagot. This is the best advise that I got ngayong gabing ito,” Duterte said.

“I hope that we would be able to weather any trouble with China now and in the future for as long as it’s very dangerous for us,” he added.

Earlier in the conference, the 97-year old former lawmaker also advised Duterte to keep his “friendly” approach towards China and the issue on the West Philippine Sea.

“Hindi dapat gamitin ang mainit na kaisipan na kagaya ng mga kritiko natin. Dapat balance lang ang approach natin at mahinahon,” he said.

“Kailangan na friendly ang approach natin diyan, hindi assertive and aggressive approach sapagkat kapag hindi tayo magkakaunawa sa China ay madadamay ang interes ng ating mga kababayan, ang ating ekonomiya, pati na rin ang ating seguridad dito sa usapin na ito,” he added.

Duterte thanked Enrile for his advise, reiterating that he prefers to talk with China instead of using force to defend the Philippine sovereignty.

Umano’y nasayang na supply ng COVID-19 vaccine sa Cotabato, iniimbestigahan na — DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   May 17, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Iniimbestigahan na ng Department of Health (DOH) ang napaulat na pagkasayang umano ng supply ng COVID-19 vaccine na ipinadala sa bayan ng Makilala sa Cotabato.

Ayon kay Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, nasa 348 doses ng Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines ang umano’y nasayang matapos mapabayaan sa loob ng freezer nang magkaroon ng power outage sa lugar.

Paalala naman ng kagawaran sa mga lokal na pamahalaan na bantayang maigi ang kanilang COVID-19 vaccine supply upang matiyak ang wastong temperature sa pag-iimbak nito.

“Hindi lang po isang beses isang araw ang ginagawang pagmo-monitor ng temperatura ng bakuna. Ito po ay ginagawa kada apat na oras,” ani Vergeire.

Nakipag-ugnayan na aniya sila sa lokal na pamahalaan kaugnay ng insidente.

“As to the sanctions, they were already advised and the local government has been coordinated with by our regional Office,” ang wika ni Vergeire. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Aiko Miguel)

Philippines records 5,979 new COVID-19 cases

Robie de Guzman   •   May 17, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines’ cumulative tally of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases climbed to 1,149,925 on Monday after the Department of Health (DOH) reported 5,979 additional infections.

In its latest bulletin, the DOH said the number of active cases has reached 54,235 of which 93.3 percent are mild; two percent are asymptomatic; 1.25 percent are moderate; 2 percent are severe and 1.4 percent are in critical condition.

The DOH said five laboratories failed to submit data on time.

Total recoveries climbed to 1,076,428 after 6,602 more patients survived the viral respiratory disease.

The death toll rose to 19,262 with 72 new fatalities.


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