Philippines to allow entry to foreigners with investor visas starting Nov. 1

Robie de Guzman   •   October 23, 2020   •   260

MANILA, Philippines – Foreign nationals with investors visa will soon be allowed to enter the Philippines, Malacañang said Friday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) on Thursday allowed the entry of foreigners starting November 1.

“These foreign nationals include those with visas issued by the Bureau of Immigration pursuant to Executive Order No. 226, or the Omnibus Investments Code, as amended, and Republic Act. No. 8756; those with 47(a)(2) visas issued by the Department of Justice; and those visas issued by the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Authority and the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority,” Roque said in a statement.

The Palace official, however, stressed that the entry of these foreigners to the country is subject to conditions.

“(T)hey must have valid and existing visa at the time of the entry and must likewise have a pre-booked accredited quarantine facility,” Roque said.

“In addition, they must be subject to the maximum capacity of inbound passengers at the port and date of entry and must follow applicable immigration laws, rules and regulations,” he added.

The government earlier said it will be easing travel restrictions to help the country’s economy recover from the impact of the pandemic.

The Philippines imposed travel restrictions in February to curb the spread of novel coronavirus disease.

IATF to ban caroling during holiday season vs COVID-19 spread

Robie de Guzman   •   November 25, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) will ban the conduct of caroling during the holiday season to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), a government official said Wednesday.

“Sinabi na ng IATF yung caroling, talagang ipinagbabawal natin,” National Task Force Against COVID-19 and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said in a public briefing.

The IATF has yet to release a resolution on the matter.

The Department of Health earlier said that singing loudly can spread the virus.

The government also reiterated its earlier call for the public to limit holiday celebrations to family members and to continue observing health safety protocols to curb virus transmission. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

IATF lifts requirement for airlines to set up COVID-19 isolation areas on domestic flights

Robie de Guzman   •   November 20, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Airline companies operating domestic flights will no longer be required to reserve a portion of the aircraft cabin as an isolation area for passengers showing symptoms of novel coronavirus disease, the government’s Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) leading the COVID-19 response said.

In a resolution approved on Thursday, the IATF said this measure “shall no longer be mandated to be part of the COVID-19 health protocols for domestic flights.”

The lifting of this requirement was upon the recommendation of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP).

The IATF also directed local government units (LGU) to relax entry protocols such as test-upon-arrival requirement imposed upon airline crew layovers/positioning due to emergency situations which include typhoons, volcanic activities, diversions and emergency landings, and other similar unforeseen and time-sensitive evacuations.

Airline crew members are also permitted to temporarily billet in accommodation establishments under a “bubble” concept supervised by the LGUs.

“For this purpose, the DILG is instructed to coordinate with all LGUs to align their health entry protocols for this limited purpose. The CAAP is likewise instructed to supervise and police the implementation of these activities,” the resolution read.

The IATF also authorized the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) to set up a corporate jet flight maintenance and crew layover hub at the Subic Special Economic and Freeport Zone under a strict “bubble” concept.

IATF allows on-site medical, foreign service exams and BSP survey

Robie de Guzman   •   November 20, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The government’s Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) leading its COVID-19 response has allowed the conduct of on-site exams for the medical sector and foreign survey, as well as the survey by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Malacañang said Friday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the IATF, during its meeting on Thursday, approved the conduct of a nationwide BSP Consumer Payments Survey, and the adoption of the guidelines for the conduct of on-site, written, oral and practical specialty and subspecialty examinations issued by the Philippine Medical Association (PMA).

The task force also allowed the on-site conduct of the 2020 Foreign Service Officer Examinations on Dec. 15 to 17, 2020.

Under IATF Resolution No. 84, the IATF said the conduct of BSP survey is in accordance with Republic Act (RA) No. 11127 or the National Payments System Act as well as RA No. 11211 or the New Central Bank Act.

The IATF said such an activity is an exercise of a critical government function, and that the same had been initially approved by the Philippine Statistics Authority and duly coordinated with the League of Cities of the Philippines and the League of Municipalities of the Philippines.

“For the avoidance of doubt, enumerators of the survey activity, whether directly employed/engaged or subcontracted, shall be considered authorized persons outside of residence (APOR) and shall be permitted interzonal travel whenever performing their functions as such, pursuant to the Section [7](2)(a) of the Omnibus Guidelines on the Implementation of Community Quarantine in the Philippines,” the resolution stated.

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