Bureau of Immigration (BI) officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) barred from entering the country 11 People’s Republic of China (PROC) nationals for misrepresenting their purpose in traveling to the Philippines.
According to Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Jaime Morente, said passengers were intercepted last Thursday at the NAIA terminal 1 after they arrived via a China Southern Airlines flight from Guangzhou.
Morente said the aliens, who were in possession of entry exemption documents and temporary visitor visas, were denied entry after being subjected to secondary inspection by members of the BI’s travel control and enforcement unit (TCEU).
According to the documents they presented, they were allegedly invited to the country by two telecommunications companies purportedly to attend conferences.
“Their testimonies during the interview, however, were highly inconsistent with the supposed purpose of their trip,” Morente said.
He added that all passengers could not present proof or documents to support their claim that they were invited to a business conference in Manila.
“They claimed to be employed as engineers in China, but when asked by Immigration Officers Lazaro and Laxamana about basic details about their profession as well as their alleged conference, they could not provide any,” Morente further shared.
All of the 11 passengers were immediatelty excluded and booked on the first available flight to China and subsequently placed in the immigration blacklist.
The incident prompted Morente to reiterate his warning to aliens that they will be turned back at the airport if they misrepresent or lie about their true purpose or intention in traveling to the Philippines.
He said possession of a valid visa and entry exemption is not a guarantee that an alien will be allowed entry as the passenger will still be subject to strict immigration inspection upon arrival in a Philippine port of entry.
Meanwhile, BI also announced it is closing its main office in Intramuros, Manila this Monday and Tuesday to give way to disinfection of the building amid the recent upsurge in Covid-19 cases in Metro Manila.
In an advisory, Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said transactions at the Bureau’s main office are temporarily suspended during the two-day period as he ordered a “thorough sanitation and disinfection” of the entire building and its premises.