The United States government, on May 9, repatriated more than 600 American citizens in the Philippines (PH) amid the new coronavirus pandemic.
According to the US Embassy in Manila, the US carried out the repatriation through Philippine Airlines’ select flights.
“On May 9, the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines coordinated special flights with Philippine Airlines to the United States for more than 600 U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents located across the Philippines. The U.S. government has no higher priority than ensuring the safety, welfare, and security of U.S. citizens overseas,” said the US Embassy Philippines on its Facebook page.
“Across the globe, the United States is making every effort to assist U.S. citizens who wish to go back home to the United States,” it added.
It also advised its citizens to enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (step.state.gov) for COVID-19 country-specific information and travel updates.
US citizens were also urged to continue monitoring the U.S. Embassy’s American Citizen Services website at ph.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/.
Visa renewal for American citizens and foreign visitors in PH
The Bureau of Immigration in the Philippines earlier advised the foreign visitors in the country to stay home as it eases the rules on the visa renewal process.
In a statement, Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente appealed to foreigners to stay at home and follow the guidelines of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) “as this is our best solution to buy time in the fight against COVID-19.”
Foreign visitors are advised mainly not to go out to apply for visa extensions during the enhanced community quarantine.
Foreigners “anywhere in the Philippines whose visas will expire during the (ECQ) period shall not be charged penalties, as long as they file their applications within 30 days from the lifting of the ECQs,” said Morente.
“We are issuing this reiteration as there are still some aliens proceeding to our offices to file for extensions despite the quarantine,” Morente said.
“For everyone’s safety, please stay at home,” he added.
The ECQ for NCR and other provinces is supposed to end on May 15. The government, however, said some cities in Metro Manila would remain under ECQ.
As of Sunday (May 10), the Philippines recorded a total of 10,794 COVID-19, including 1,924 recoveries and 719 deaths.
Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) meanwhile will resume operations for inbound international flights starting Monday, May 11, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) on Saturday, May 9.