Update July 21,2020, 12:04 pm
The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) announced Thursday that the Philippines would allow the entry of foreign nationals with long-term visas beginning August 1, 2020.
The IATF, however, established conditions before the foreign national could enter the country.
They should have valid and existing visas at the time of the entry, meaning no new entry visa would be accepted. They should also subject to the maximum capacity of inbound passengers at the port and date of entry because returning overseas Filipinos would be prioritized.
Foreign nationals should also secure a pre-booked accredited quarantine facility and a pre-booked COVID-19 testing center.
In January, the Bureau of Immigration temporarily suspended the issuance of visa upon arrival or VUA to Chinese nationals to ensure the virus would not infect the country.
In March, the Philippines announced it would temporarily suspend visa issuance to all foreign nationals, including visa-free privileges, to prevent the spread of pandemic COVID-19 in the country.
As of July 16, the Philippines recorded a total of 61,266 COVID-19 cases, with 1,643 deaths and 21,440 recoveries.
OWWA denies sending COVID-positive OFW home to Pangasinan
The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) on Thursday denied that they sent an OFW who tested positive for COVID-19 home to Pangasinan.
According to OWWA administrator Hans Cacdac, their repatriation of an OFW in Calasiao, Pangasinan, who was reportedly repatriated to the province despite being positive for COVID-19, is following health protocols.
Cacdac asserted that OFWs were allowed to return home based on DOH Memorandum No. 0258, which allows the discharge of a COVID positive patient when he or she is asymptomatic 14 days after the swab test.
The DOH-Bureau of Quarantine then will issue a certificate that the patient has recovered, which, according to Cacdac, is what happened in the case of the repatriated OFW in Pangasinan.
Meanwhile, as of May 15, OWWA has deported 90,000 OFWs to their respective provinces.
Nearly 3,000 OFWs arriving in the country are in the facilities and waiting for the test results, which are expected to be released within 3 to 4 days.