More than 2,300 people refused entry to Philippines so far this year

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refused entry
File photograph.

More than 2,300 foreign visitors have been refused entry to the Philippines so far this year, the Bureau of Immigration has announced.

In a statement today (Monday, July 29) BI port operations chief Grifton Medina said 2,351 foreigners were denied entry to the country as a result of the bureau’s “intensified efforts” to thwart the entry of foreigners deemed “inimical to public welfare and safety”.

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Of the total, 1,920 were turned away at Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport while the rest were stopped at the airports in Cebu, Clark, Kalibo, Aklan and Davao.

“They were turned back after undergoing primary and secondary inspection by our immigration officers and were declared unfit for admission into our country for a variety of reasons,” Mr Medina said.

“They were issued exclusion orders and booked on the first available flight to their ports of origin.” 

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Of the arrivals refused entry, 1,129 were Chinese, 106 Indian, 87 American, 67 Korean and 52 Taiwanese. The nationalities of the remaining 910 have not been specified.

Those refused included registered sex offenders, wanted fugitives, suspected terrorists and people who have previously been deported and blacklisted.

Mr Medina said the prime reason for refusing entry was if visitors didn’t have “visible means” to support themselves. He also said many were turned away if their reasons for visiting the country were “doubtful”.

He added that some were refused entry for being “rude and disrespectful” towards staff or for having “incomplete travel documents”.

He did not specify how many had been turned away for failing to have a valid onward flight ticket.

BI Commissioner Jaime Morente has urged immigration officers “not to relax your guard and be always vigilant in discharging your duties as gatekeepers of our country”.

“Our immigration officers are working hard day and night to protect our borders from these threats,” he said.

“We are serious in our drive against illegal aliens, and we are doing the best so we can to stop them from entering the country.” 

He also stressed that the BI was not “targeting specific nationalities” but rather “targeting illegal and undocumented individuals who try to enter the Philippines”.

Last year, a total of 3,528 visitors were refused entry to the Philippines. If current trends continue, 2019 will see the increased total of 4,702 turned away.

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