No decision yet to allow entry of foreigners into PH, Palace says
MANILA, Philippines — Foreigners are still prohibited to enter the country despite the easing of the strict coronavirus lockdown measures, Malacañang said.
According to presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) has yet to amend or lift the travel restrictions earlier imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19.
“Wala pa po tayong desisyon sa IATF na papasukin ang mga dayuhan,” Roque said in a televised Palace briefing.
(The IATF has yet to decide whether to allow entry of foreigners.)
He added that allowing foreign nationals to enter the country would result in an additional burden the government is already carrying in processing the return of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
“Alam niyo po sa OFWs alone, halos hindi na tayo magkandaugaga dahil lahat po ng mga umuuwi ay binibigyan natin ng PCR test. So magkakaroon po ng mas malaking problema kung pati ang mga dayuhan ay (papapasukin) natin. So ngayon po wala pang problema,” Roque said.
(You know, in handling the OFWs alone, we are already getting overwhelmed because we are giving all of them a PCR test. So we will have a bigger problem if we let foreigners in.)
Under existing guidelines approved by the IATF, only returning Filipino migrant workers, Filipino citizens, their spouses and dependents, permanent residents, and foreign diplomats are allowed to enter the country.
All foreigners can leave anytime but Filipinos are not allowed to leave the country unless they are OFWs or permanent residents or holders of a student visa in their country of destination.
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