THE Philippines has extended its entry ban on foreign nationals until the end of April.
Malacañang on Friday, April 16, announced that the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases approved “the extension of the temporary suspension of foreign nationals until April 30, 2021.”
Last month, the National Task Force Against COVID-19 (NTF COVID-19) released a memorandum announcing that the country is temporarily barring the entry of foreign nationals from March 22 to April 21.
“Foreign nationals with valid entry exemption documents duly issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs prior to March 22, 2021 will be allowed entry to the Philippines,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque added.
Exempted from the ban are diplomats; members of international organizations and their dependents; foreigners involved in medical repatriation; foreign seafarers under ‘Green Lanes’ program for crew change; foreign spouses and children of Filipino citizens traveling with them; and emergency, humanitarian, and other analogous cases approved by the chairperson of the NTF.
However, the latest resolution noted that Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente has the “exclusive prerogative to decide on waiver or recall of exclusion orders for all foreign nationals authorized entry under relevant IATF resolutions, subject to regular reporting to the IATF Secretariat at the end of each calendar month.”
The entry of Filipinos and exempted foreign nationals will also be subject to the arrival quota of only 1,500 passengers per day in an attempt to control the surge in daily infections in the country.
To date, there are a total of 914,971 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Philippines, with 705,757 recoveries and 15,738 fatalities.