General travel restrictions still remain for foreigners coming to the Philippines even if the government has already approved to reduce the quarantine period for returning OFWs, balikbayans, international students, and workers, according to the Bureau of Immigration (BI).
BI spokesperson Dana Sandoval said in an interview with Super Radyo DZBB that "sa ngayon, meron pang ongoing general travel restrictions," expressing the fear that undesirable aliens might take advantage of the shortened quarantine period.
(For now, there's still ongoing general travel restriction)
She added that currently, only Filipino citizens, balikbayans -- foreigners, Filipino spouses, children traveling with them are permitted to enter the country.
As well as foreign immigrants, those with working visas, student visas, and retired ones are also allowed entry, she said.
Sandoval noted that at present -- may be due to the COVID-19 pandemic -- very few cases of undesirable aliens coming into the country.
Sandoval also stressed that foreign tourists are not yet permitted to enter the Philippines and those coming from the red list or banned countries, as stated under the IATF Resolution 142 approved on October 7, 2021.
According to the IATF resolution, "Fully vaccinated individuals coming from either "Green" or "Yellow" List countries/territories/jurisdictions, need to undergo facility-based quarantine until the release of their negative Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) testing taken on the fifth (5th) day."
Administrative fines are waiting for those airlines which will fly international passengers with no appropriate documents, while passengers will be sent back to their port of origin, Sandoval warned.
Meanwhile, the Bureau of Quarantine (BoQ) will deal with travelers found having faulty COVID-19 negative test results or fake vaccination cards.
If the BoQ confirms that the travelers have fake negative test results or COVID vaccination cards, they will be taken to the BI's custody to initiate deportation proceedings.