While the Philippines awaits the day when it finally reopens its borders to international tourists, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said they are prepared for when that time comes.
Last week, the Department of Tourism (DOT) announced that the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) approved the entry of fully vaccinated foreign tourists from “green list” countries and territories into the country.
The only thing left to do is wait for the IATF to release the guidelines for it.
Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said they are ready to assist leisure travelers, as necessary adjustments have been implemented.
“While we are awaiting the official announcement from the IATF, we have already put in place the needed manpower and facilities in preparation for this,” he said in a statement based on the report of PNA.
Recently, the BI hired 99 new immigration officers for deployment in the ports and different offices nationwide.
Also, frontline personnel is not permitted to file a vacation leave during the holiday season.
“We have also resumed the use of our e-gates for arriving Filipinos as it would greatly lessen the processing time for our kababayan who will be returning here for Christmas,” Morente added.
He also noted that the IATF is still planning and extensively discussing the proposal to reopen the country to foreign visitors, ironing out many details before its implementation.
“Most probably, those coming from green list countries will be the first ones to be allowed entry,” he added.
Currently, 44 countries are under the green list.