The Bureau of Immigration (BI) said Thursday it would begin proceedings to deport the 10 Chinese nationals who tried to disembark from a luxury yacht in Puerto Princess City, Palawan, without permission from the local port authorities.
According to BI Commissioner Jaime Morente, he already ordered to start the deportation proceedings against the vessel SY Me Li’s Chinese crew and passengers after they found that Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) personnel apprehended the yacht on Monday, July 20, off the coast of Brgy. Concepcion, Puerto Princesa City.
Morente said that the Chinese nationals violated Philippine immigration laws for entering the Philippines without a visa and prior notice and clearance from the Bureau and other port authorities.
The ten foreigners were identified as Zhang Dengkang, Lin Huawei, Zhou Wei, Xu Yuansen, Lou Xioqiang, Zhao Zhoujin, Chang Liujing, Luo Shui Sheng, Chen Zhen Qi, and Zhao Jian Hui.
According to Junfred Calamba’s report on “Super Radyo Palawan,” the yacht docked past 8 p.m. in Barangay Concepcion.
Barangay Captain Job Francisco said that one of the passengers made it to shore before village officials arrived. The rest of the passengers were prevented from leaving the yacht.
BI Seaport Operations Chief Alnazib Decampong said existing regulations require the agent or operators of all vessels going to the Philippines, to submit to the immigration an advance notice of the ship’s arrival, crew list, and passenger manifest.
Decampong added that Chinese nationals could be considered as illegal aliens as they did not apply for entry visas from a Philippine Consulate in their port of origin before going to the Philippines.
The Chinese nationals are now quarantined in their yacht that is currently docked in the waters near the Honda Bay Beach Resort in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan.
“They will remain in their ship until they are deported. We will not allow them
to disembark and go ashore, not only for their having no visas but also because foreigners like them are restricted from entering the country due to COVID-19,” Decampong said.
He added that under the Philippine Immigration Act, the government could seize and forfeit the impounded yacht.