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The Bureau of Immigration (BI) announced the lifting of the travel ban for Filipino overseas workers, students, and permanent residents bound for Hong Kong and Macau.

BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infections Diseases (IATF-EID) has recommended the lifting of the departure travel ban, adding that “this is a welcome development for our kababayan (countrymen) who wish to return to their work abroad.” The lifting, according to Morente, covers all Filipino nationals who are holders of working visas, student visas, and permanent resident visas both in Hong Kong and Macau.

He said the ban on Filipinos going to both regions in China as tourists is still in effect. Morente said the lifting is an expansion of an earlier directive allowing members of the diplomatic corps to enter the country from those areas in China. He explained that the lifting of the travel ban also allows the entry of Filipino nationals including their foreign spouses and children.

Meanwhile, BI clarified its role in implementing the travel ban.

The clarification stemmed from a complaint on social media about an overseas Filipino worker based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) who was not allowed to return to the UAE because they had been in Taiwan six days before departure.

Taiwan was previously included in the travel ban imposed by the government, a ban that was lifted last Feb. 14.

According to Morente, the Feb. 2 directive on the travel ban of President Duterte specifically states that a mandatory fourteen-day quarantine for Filipinos and permanent resident visa holders coming from any place in China and its special administrative regions is required.

“While it is the Bureau of Quarantine who implements this measure, it is the BI who can determine who fall under this category and is duty-bound to implement the directive,” he clarified.

“This is a measure best seen by the (IATF-)EID and the government to prevent the further spread of the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease),” Morente added.

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News around the web
22 February 2020

BI: Travel ban lifted for OFWs, students, permanent residents of HK, Macau – not tourists

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) announced the lifting of the travel ban for Filipino overseas workers, students, and permanent residents bound for Hong Kong and Macau.

BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infections Diseases (IATF-EID) has recommended the lifting of the departure travel ban, adding that “this is a welcome development for our kababayan (countrymen) who wish to return to their work abroad.” The lifting, according to Morente, covers all Filipino nationals who are holders of working visas, student visas, and permanent resident visas both in Hong Kong and Macau.

He said the ban on Filipinos going to both regions in China as tourists is still in effect. Morente said the lifting is an expansion of an earlier directive allowing members of the diplomatic corps to enter the country from those areas in China. He explained that the lifting of the travel ban also allows the entry of Filipino nationals including their foreign spouses and children.

Meanwhile, BI clarified its role in implementing the travel ban.

The clarification stemmed from a complaint on social media about an overseas Filipino worker based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) who was not allowed to return to the UAE because they had been in Taiwan six days before departure.

Taiwan was previously included in the travel ban imposed by the government, a ban that was lifted last Feb. 14.

According to Morente, the Feb. 2 directive on the travel ban of President Duterte specifically states that a mandatory fourteen-day quarantine for Filipinos and permanent resident visa holders coming from any place in China and its special administrative regions is required.

“While it is the Bureau of Quarantine who implements this measure, it is the BI who can determine who fall under this category and is duty-bound to implement the directive,” he clarified.

“This is a measure best seen by the (IATF-)EID and the government to prevent the further spread of the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease),” Morente added.

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News around the web
19 February 2020

Immigration bureau opens PH doors to travelers from Taiwan after ban lifting

MANILA - The Bureau of Immigration (BI) said Saturday it had implemented the lifting of travel restriction the Philippines imposed on Taiwan due to the outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said he had instructed all immigration personnel to allow foreigners and Filipinos to travel to and from the self-governing territory. "We have received an order from the Office of the President yesterday [Friday] afternoon lifting the travel restrictions," Morente said.

"This follows the resolution of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Infectious Disease (IATF), which we are bound to implement immediately. Hence, travel may now be made by any foreign national to Taiwan from the Philippines and vice versa," he added.

Also allowed to enter the Philippines are members of the diplomatic corps traveling from Taiwan, regardless of nationality. The decision to lift the ban, announced Friday, came as Taiwan threatened sanctions against the Philippines, including scrapping visa-free privilege for Filipinos.

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