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The Bureau of Immigration (BI) said its port personnel barred 180 aliens from entering the country last year for being rude and disrespectful to immigration officers. Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said the number of rude aliens turned back in 2019 was slightly higher than the 133 foreigners who were barred in 2018. In 2017, 129 were turned back for the same cause.

Morente said that aside from being returned to their port of origin, the discourteous aliens were also blacklisted and banned from entering the country for being undesirable. Such policy is grounded under a memorandum order that former BI Commissioner Andrea Domingo issued on March 29, 2001, which provides not only for the exclusion of a disrespectful foreign passenger but also his inclusion in the immigration blacklist. “We thus reiterate our warning to foreigners intending to visit the Philippines that they should refrain from exhibiting bad behavior that would make them undeserving to enter our country,” Morente stressed. Morente added that while the officers have been instructed to observe maximum tolerance, physical and verbal abuse will not be tolerated. According to BI port operations division chief Grifton Medina, most of the rude aliens were turned away at the international airports in Manila and Mactan, Cebu. Medina said some of the passengers were drunk, rowdy, and unruly when they presented themselves for primary inspection to immigration officers. “Others, although sober, were arrogant and discourteous,” Medina added. “They would shout expletives, and would even make derogatory statements about Filipinos or the country.” Medina explained that the entry and stay here of foreigners is only a privilege, not a right, thus foreign visitors should not verbally abuse or disrespect immigration officers and other symbols of the Philippines upon arriving in any of the country’s ports of entry. Statistics from the BI’s airport operations section revealed that the total consisted of 63 Chinese nationals, followed by 23 Koreans, 10 Americans, nine Japanese, eight Australians, and five Britons. Also in the list are four Malaysians, four New Zealanders, four Saudi nationals, four Singaporeans, four Vietnamese, three Germans, three Hongkong nationals, three Israelis, and three Swiss nationals.

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