BI to Pinoy tourists: travel abroad restrictions remain
MANILA, July 6 (PIA) — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) reminded Filipinos intending to travel abroad as tourists that there is still an existing international travel restrictions in the country, as per guidelines of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jaime Morente, BI Commissioner, issued the said statement over the weekend, after receiving a report that six Filipinos tried to travel to Cambodia aboard a special chartered flight from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) on June 29, 2020.
The six passengers were reportedly offloaded because they are traveling as tourists and their reason for traveling is considered “non-essential”. According to BI Port Operations Acting Chief Grifton Medina, “the six passengers were offloaded from their flight after they informed the immigration officer that they were going to Phnom Penh to merely attend a business meeting on shrimp farming.”
BI reiterated that, “Filipinos intending to travel abroad as tourists are still restricted from leaving the country amid the continuing global COVID-19 pandemic.”
Travelers will only be allowed to leave the country if “they are Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), holders of study visas or permanent residents in the country of their destination,” Morente said.
The BI said that there have been already several instances of departing Filipinos tourists who were barred from boarding their flights at the NAIA since the government imposed restrictions on international travel three months ago due to the pandemic.
Medina appealed for understanding from the general public saying that, “the Bureau will continue to implement existing international travel restrictions until these are lifted or relaxed by the IATF-EID.”
Medina asked the Filipinos who plans to go leisure trips or visit their relatives to be patient and wait for the lifting of the said travel restrictions. “These travel restrictions are only temporary and we should always bear in mind that the government implemented these measures to protect our countrymen against this deadly coronavirus,” Medina added. (VQR/PIA/BI)