The Bureau of Immigration (BI) announced that it will be on heightened alert during the upcoming holy week, in anticipation of the increase in arriving and departing passengers.
According to BI Commissioner Jaime Morente, all airports and seaports have been instructed to ensure that they are properly manned, to be able to service the expected rise in travelers.
“Historically, the number of passengers really rise during holy week and other such long breaks,” said Morente. “This year as the country re-opens its borders, we expect that the numbers will again rise,” he added.
The BI earlier projected around 12,000 – 14,000 daily arrivals for the month of April.
“This number could actually increase during the holy week, and we’ve made sure that our personnel are on full force to ensure smooth and efficient processing of passengers,” said Morente.
Meanwhile, Morente addressed an online article stating that there were long lines at the immigration area in the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 last April 5.
Morente clarified that their counters were fully manned to process arriving passengers.
“Upon investigation, we found out that there was barely any line at the immigration area,” said Morente. “There are a lot of agencies and entities processing passengers at the airport, and at times there is confusion as to which agency is in charge of certain procedures,” he added.
BI on heightened alert for Holy Week
BI Port Operations Division (POD) Chief Atty. Carlos Capulong also shared that the BI’s electronic gates are already fully operational in time for the peak season, allowing man-less processing of arriving Filipinos, with processing time as low as 8 seconds per passenger.
Meanwhile, Malacanang announced the government had approved the presentation of an antigen COVID-19 test result as a requirement to enter the Philippines if validated by a healthcare expert.
According to Andanar, the IATF also approved the acceptance and recognition of Bangladesh, Mexico, Pakistan, and the Slovak Republic’s national COVID-19 vaccination certificates for arrival quarantine protocols and interzonal/intrazonal mobility.
This is in addition to other countries/territories/jurisdictions whose proofs of vaccination have already been accepted by the IATF for recognition in the Philippines. It is without prejudice to additional proofs of vaccination approved by the IATF for all inbound visitors.