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Heavy congestion expected in airports in Chinese New Year — BI

By: - Reporter / @DYGalvezINQ
/ 02:11 PM January 20, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Expect a heavy volume of travelers in the country’s airports, especially the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia), during the celebration of the Chinese New Year, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said Monday.

BI Port Operations Division Chief Grifton Medina said the agency is expecting a 10% to 15% increase in departures during the Chinese New Year. He noted that a surge of Chinese residents in the Philippines wishing to celebrate abroad is expected.

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“Last year we saw a 14% increase in departures. This year the increase might be more or less the same,”  he said in a statement.

“We are expecting a surge of Chinese residents in the Philippines who wish to spend the Chinese New Year abroad.  It may result in heavy congestion of our airports,” he added.

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The BI noted that the Philippines is host to tens of thousands of Chinese immigrants and non-immigrants. In 2018 alone, a total of 1.3 million Chinese citizens were recorded to have entered the country.

To avoid the expected increase in volume of travelers lining up to immigration cashiers in Naia, the agency urged foreign nationals to process their re-entry fees in any of its officers before proceeding to the airport.

Immigration policies require foreign nationals who are registered holders of valid immigrant and non-immigrant visas to pay exit and re-entry permits each time they leave the country.

“We expect that the surge could congest our immigration cashiers, hence we are appealing to registered aliens to pre-pay their fees to avoid the congestion,” Medina said.

Re-entry fees can be paid at the BI main office in Manila and in the immigration field, satellite and extension offices nationwide, which totals 60 offices.

“It’s a very quick process, which will only take a few minutes.  We also have offices located in malls and other convenient locations,” the BI official said.

“Coming to the airport with the receipt at hand makes processing faster, allowing departing aliens to avoid the rush and relax before their flight,” he added.

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Chinese New Year will be celebrated on Jan. 25.

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TAGS: airport, BI offices , Bureau of Immigration, Chinese, Chinese new year, congestion, NAIA, re-entry fees, Residents
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