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MANILA, Philippines—Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Jaime Morente announced that they are waiving overstaying fees of aliens affected by the airport closure on Sunday, following the eruption of the Taal volcano. It can be recalled that numerous flights have been cancelled, as aircraft were unable to depart evening of Sunday until the following day, due to heavy ashfall and volcanic debris in the airspace and runways.

Classes in all levels and work in government in the affected areas of Calabarzon, NCR, and Region 3 have likewise been suspended on January 13. “This was a natural disaster that nobody wanted to experience,” said Morente. “Hence to ease the burden of our tourists whose flights were cancelled during the closure, we are waiving the overstaying fee for those affected,” he added. Port Operations Division Chief Grifton Medina clarified that only those who overstayed because their flights were supposed to depart during the two-day closure will be exempt from paying overstaying fines. He added that to be exempted from the charges, aliens must present at least one of the following to airport officers: boarding pass within the affected period, outbound ticket dated January 12 or 13 2020, or cancelled immigration departure stamp bearing the same date. He clarified that those whose visas have long expired are not exempt from penalties.

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