The Bureau of Immigration (BI) barred the entry of at least 37 foreign tourists in the first week of the Philippines's reopening to international travelers.
Immigration spokesperson Dana Sandoval said yesterday that while fully vaccinated foreigners from visa-free countries have been welcome since Feb. 10, arriving passengers who violated the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) guidelines were not allowed entry.
“Thirty-seven all in all for non-compliance with IATF guidelines,” Sandoval said in a Viber message when asked about the number of foreigners who have been denied entry into the country, based on the report of PhilStar.
Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente reminded airline companies to ensure that only eligible foreigners can board their flights bound for the Philippines.
Morente said that it is the airline companies’ responsibility to ensure that foreigners boarding their flights to the Philippines follow IATF guidelines, especially on the vaccination requirement.
Sandoval said that in the first week of the reopening, the influx of foreign travelers was manageable and within the BI’s expected 8,000 arriving foreign passengers weekly, more than double the number before Feb. 10.
“We are expecting this number to gradually increase, perhaps as high as 10,000 to 12,000 per day after a few months,” she said.