BI: Chinese top list of barred foreigners in 2019
MANILA, Philippines — Chinese nationals have topped the list of foreigners who were denied entry to the Philippines in 2019 after authorities found they were improperly documented or were ineligible to enter and stay in the country.
Grifton Medina, Port Operations Division Chief of the Bureau of Immigration (BI), said Thursday that a total of 3,527 Chinese nationals were among the 7,724 foreigners denied entry into the country last year.
They were followed by 488 Vietnamese nationals, 380 Indians, 329 Indonesians, and 255 Malaysians.
According to BI Commissioner Jaime Morente, the number of foreigners barred from entering the country last year was 65 percent higher than the 4,679 sent back to their homelands in 2018.
“They were turned back by immigration officers who, after the conduct of primary and secondary inspection, found that they were improperly documented, or ineligible to enter and stay in the Philippines,” Morente said in a statement.
He added that they were immediately booked for the first available flight back to their ports of origin after they were denied entry.
Interestingly, Chinese nationals also topped the list of foreigners barred from entering the Philippines for being rude to immigration officers last year.
BI records show that among the 180 discourteous foreigners, 63 were Chinese.
They were also the most deported aliens recorded by the bureau from 2016 to 2018, followed by South Korean nationals.
Morente explained that immigration officers are authorized to assess and decide if an arriving foreigner is eligible to be admitted to the country as a visitor.
“A foreigner may be excluded if he is improperly documented, or the immigration officer deems that his presence or stay here is inimical to the national interest and public welfare,” the BI chief said.
According to Medina, nearly two-thirds of these foreigners are those whose reasons for entry to the country are doubtful, lacks the means to support their stay, or were unable to explain their purpose of travel.
Others who were turned back were improperly documented aliens, convicted sex offenders, rude passengers, blacklisted foreigners, and those without entry visas.
The rise in the number of foreigners denied entry to the country, said Medina, was due to the increased vigilance of immigration personnel.
Morente, meanwhile, vowed that the vigilance of BI officers will continue this year.
“We are ensuring that our borders are tightly guarded to prevent the entry of illegal aliens who might abuse our hospitality,” said the commissioner, adding that foreigners who are here for legitimate purposes have nothing to worry about.
INQUIRER.net is still seeking comments from the Chinese Embassy in Manila on the matter.
Edited by MUF
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.