BI: Higher foreign arrivals seen in Q2 2022

March 26, 2022 Jun I. Legaspi 171 views

BUREAU of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Jaime Morente projects that the country will see a major increase in the number of arrivals by the 2nd Quarter (Q2) of 2022.

According to Morente, the opening of borders to all vaccinated foreign nationals is a huge step towards the recovery of the tourism and international travel sector.

“Further downgrading of our country’s travel restrictions as COVID-19 cases remain low is a welcome development,” said Morente.

“This would allow more families and friends who have been separated by the pandemic to reunite,” he added.

Morente said that they expect the first wave of arrivals to be families of Filipinos who were unable to go home due to travel restrictions.

The BI earlier reported the gradual increase in the number of arriving passengers. From around 5,000 daily average arrivals, they now report seeing more than 11,000 inbound travelers.

“We are now back to our pre-pandemic visa policies,” said Morente. “Those coming from countries under Executive Order No. 408 may enter the country visa-free, while those who are visa-required must secure an entry visa from Philippine posts abroad,” he stated.

Malacañang on Friday announced that beginning April 1, fully vaccinated foreign nationals may enter the country without the need for an entry exemption document (EED).

The ruling, which was approved during the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF)’s 16th meeting, also listed down other requirements that arriving foreign nationals are required to present.

Fully vaccinated arriving foreign nationals must carry an acceptable proof of vaccination as listed by the IATF, must present a passport valid for a period of at least 6 months and an outbound ticket, a travel and health insurance that covers COVID-19 with a minimum coverage of US$35,000 valid for the duration of their stay in the Philippines, and must present a negative RT-PCR test taken within 48 hours or a negative laboratory-based taken within 24 hours before departure from the country of origin in a continuous trip to the Philippines.

The BI also clarified that only those eligible for “Balikbayan” privileges under Republic Act No. 9174 are exempted from presenting an outbound ticket.

“We are hopeful that this would be the start of the rebound of the tourism sector,” said Morente.