THE Bureau of Immigration (BI) expressed its support to a proposal to allow fully- vaccinated foreign national to enter the country as part of efforts to revive country’s moribund tourism industry and reopen the country’s borders.
The BI said it backs the setting up of a “green lane” for vaccinated aliens in the different ports to pave the way for the reopening of tourist destinations to leisure travelers, should the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) deem it viable.
Aside from the tourism and travel industry, the BI said that opening the country’s borders to international leisure travelers will also hasten the revival of the commercial aviation and shipping industries whose businesses suffered a beating from the pandemic.
Earlier, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat asked the IATF to approve the setting of the “green lanes” to facilitate the re-employment of tourism workers and revive the tourism industry under safe conditions.
Puyat said the scheme would allow vaccinated foreign travelers to visit the country for leisure as quarantine rules are being relaxed while the government undertakes a massive vaccination rollout for its citizens nationwide.
She also stressed that the Philippines should keep pace with its neighbors and the rest of the world in slowly reopening the country’s tourist destinations.
The BI is one of the government agencies which comprised a small working group (SWG), headed by the DOT and Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), which was formed to study the feasibility of implementing the “green lane” scheme and formulate related heath protocols.
Also in the group are the Bureau of Quarantine, Department of Information and Communications Technology, Department of Transportation, Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, and Department of Trade and Industry.