Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Jaime Morente reminded the different airlines to ensure that only eligible aliens are permitted to board their flights bound for the Philippines.
Morente stressed that it is the responsibility of airlines to ensure that foreigners boarding their flights to the country are eligible to enter, following the recent resolutions from the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID).
Currently, the country only allows the entry of fully vaccinated foreigners, subject to the presentation of required documents.
Lawyer Carlos Capulong, BI Port Operations Chief, said it is imperative that the airlines exercise due diligence in ensuring that their passengers are compliant with requirements as they are primarily responsible if their customers are denied entry to the country.
He thanked the airlines for their cooperation in implementing the imposed travel restrictions. “This is a joint effort by different government agencies, as well as the airlines who are the first to evaluate documents presented by travelers,” said Capulong. “The airlines have been very helpful and cooperative with these policies that we are duty-bound to impose,” he added.
BI reminds airlines to disallow boarding of PH-bound aliens with improper docs
Foreign nationals who are ineligible for entry are excluded upon arriving at the airport, and is boarded on the next available flight back to their port of origin. Airlines likewise face fines and sanctions for allowing improperly documented aliens to board.
Last week, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) announced that arriving balikbayan and their spouse and children who are traveling with them are exempted from presenting an outbound ticket.
BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said that the exemption is in compliance with a recent resolution from the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID), exempting former Filipinos, as well as the spouse and children of Filipinos or former Filipinos who are traveling with them, from the requirement.
“This adjusted policy allows those arriving under a balikbayan status to better enjoy their one-year visa-free privilege,” said Morente.
Balikbayan, as defined by the BI, are former Filipinos who have been naturalized to any of the 157 countries under Executive Order No. 408, s. of 1960 as amended. Balikbayan are entitled to a one-year visa free entry, which they can extend to their spouse and children, if traveling to the Philippines together with them.
Family members of Filipinos not included in the list of visa-free countries, on the other hand, are required to secure an entry visa prior to their arrival.