South Korean gov’t to help PH screen nationals from coronavirus-hit region
MANILA, Philippines — The South Korean government has pledged help identify travellers coming from its regions affected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said Monday.
BI spokesperson Dana Sandoval admitted the agency was having a difficult time identifying tourists coming from areas in South Korea where the Philippines imposed a travel ban.
“Actually yan yung naging difficulty natin in implementing dito sa arriving because what’s particular about this travel ban, it’s not the entire country ang naka-ban, but only selected areas ng South Korea,” Sandoval said in a press briefing in Malacañang.
(We are having difficulty in implementing the ban because the travel ban was not imposed on the entire country, but only selected areas of South Korea.)
“What we did, through the inter-agency, we coordinated with the South Korean government and they pledged to issue a certification to know if that person, that foreign national, is coming from those areas,” she added.
While the certification plan has yet to be implemented, Sandoval said the BI is checking on the South Korean tourist’s national IDs to determine whether they are residents of the regions covered by the travel ban.
“But temporarily habang wala pa yung ganoong mechanism, we are looking at the resident registration certificate or the National ID of the foreign national for us to know kung nanggaling po siya doon, kung yun ang kanyang address,” Sandoval said.
(But while this mechanism has yet to be implemented, we are temporarily looking at the resident registration certificate or the National ID of the foreign national for us to know whether they came from those regions or that is where their address is.)
The Philippine government has imposed a travel ban on North Gyeongsang province, including Daegu and Cheongdo in South Korea in a bid to contain COVID-19.
The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) also barred Filipinos from going to South Korea with the exemption of permanent residents, students and overseas workers.
As of Monday, the number of cases in South Korea has reportedly surpassed 4,000, the highest outside of China.
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