BI denies more than 9,000 foreigners entry to PH
The Bureau of Immigration barred more than 9,000 foreign travelers from entering the country in 2016 as part of the agency’s efforts at bolstering the country’s border security.
BI commissioner Jaime Morente said the agency turned back 9,738 foreigners from the Philippines’ ports of entry last year in a bid to thwart the entry of undesirable or fugitive aliens.
“That we were able to stop these unwanted aliens from entering our borders is proof of our continued vigilance in the discharge of our mandate as gatekeepers of the country,” he said.
Last year’s figure was 45 percent more compared to the foreigners turned away in 2015.
Morente said this is part of the agency’s intensified efforts to strengthen border security against undesirable aliens.
Of the 9, 738 foreigners who were turned away, 2,034 were Chinese nationals, followed by 269 Indians, 179 Vietnamese, 163 Americans, and 119 Indonesians.
Most of the excluded aliens were intercepted at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport while others were turned away at other international airports such as Mactan, Clark, Kalibo, Iloilo, and Davao.
Morente explained that most of the excluded aliens were denied entry after they were identified as likely to become public charges.
In immigration parlance, a public charge is a foreigner likely to be dependent on the government for subsistence due to his lack of capacity to support his stay, making him an added burden to society.
A foreigner may also be refused admission if, based on the immigration officer’s assessment, his presence here is considered inimical to the national interest or a threat to public health and safety.
Marc Red Mariñas, acting BI port operations division chief, said those barred entry included those on their blacklist of undesirables such as fugitives, suspected terrorists, and convicted sex offenders.
“We also turned away foreign passengers who did not have entry visas and those who failed to procure outbound tickets, which is a basic requirement for foreign tourists,” he added. CDG/rga