The Bureau of Immigration (BI) clarified that aliens not allowed to enter the country due to ongoing travel restrictions may seek exemption from the National Covid Task Force Against Covid-19 (NTF) for emergency or humanitarian reasons.
In a statement, BI Commissioner Jaime Morente clarified that entry exemptions issued by other agencies before the travel ban was imposed cannot be used to enter the country during the heightened travel ban, which started last March 22 and ends on April 21, 2021.
He pointed out that a resolution passed by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) in March authorizes only the NTF to approve requests for the entry of foreigners who are not exempted from the travel ban.
“The IATF-MEID resolution clearly states that only the NTF chair or his authorized representative may approve requests to allow the entry of foreigners on emergency, humanitarian and analogous cases,” the BI chief added.
Morente also stressed that aliens permitted to come here by the NTF should likewise possess valid visas at the time of their entry.
Restricted aliens traveling to PH for emergency, humanitarian reasons may seek exemption from NTF
The BI chief issued the clarification following reports that several foreigners without NTF-issued entry exemptions were recently denied entry at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
Morente, nonetheless, assured that aliens that the travel restriction is temporary, which is a result of the recent spike in Covid-19 cases.
“We hope that after this spike, the number of cases continue to downtrend, so we may be able to revive the international travel and tourism sector,” said Morente.
Aside from NTF-approved alien travelers, the IATF also exempted from the travel ban foreigners who are diplomats and members of international organizations and their dependents with valid 9(e) or 47(a)2 visas; those involved in medical repatriation with a valid visa as endorsed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA); seafarers holding 9(c) visas entering the country for crew change; and parents, spouses and children of Filipinos who are traveling with them.