The foreign parents of Filipino citizens who have valid visas and are traveling with them may now enter the Philippines, the Bureau of Immigration said Monday.
Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said the new rule was pursuant to the latest resolution issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
“If they are traveling alone, they will not be allowed entry even if they hold valid visas as the rules provide that they must be traveling with their Philippine spouse or children,” he said.
Earlier, only foreign spouses and children of Filipinos traveling with them and who held valid visas were exempted from the travel ban, which the government had imposed on all foreign nationals from March 22 to April 20.
Morente, however, said that in the case of foreign spouses and children of Filipino nationals, the foreign parents of Filipinos must likewise be traveling with the latter and should have valid visas to be able to enter the country.
Meanwhile, travelers outside “NCR Plus” with international flights from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport will be allowed to enter the bubble, the Department of Transportation said on Monday.
In a virtual briefing, Transportation Undersecretary Artemio Tuazon said those in the areas outside Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal and Bulacan would be allowed to enter the bubble if they had outgoing international flights amid the enhanced community quarantine.
Morente also said foreign seafarers arriving via the seaports were not prohibited from entering the country so long as they, too, possessed the required seaman’s visa or crew list visa.
“We welcome the exemption of foreign seafarers from the travel ban as the Philippines is one of the countries in Asia that has opened a ‘green lane’ for these sailors,” he said.
According to BI Bay Service Section chief Alnazib Decampong, the green lane project was launched by the government to promote the Philippines as a hub for crew change of international maritime vessels and facilitate the free movement of sailors in the region during the pandemic.
He said these crew change hubs were located in the ports of Manila, Bataan, Batangas, Subic, Cebu and Davao.