Filipino tourists still not allowed to travel abroad — BI
MANILA, Philippines — Filipino tourists are still barred from leaving the country amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Immigration chief Jaime Morente issued the reminder after six Filipinos were reportedly barred from flying to Cambodia on a special chartered flight from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
The Filipinos were offloaded from the flight as they are “mere tourists” whose purpose in going abroad is “non-essential” and do not fall under the category of travelers exempted from the travel ban.
“We want to emphasize and reiterate that Filipinos are still prohibited from leaving the country unless they are Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), holders of study visas or permanent residents in the country of their destination,” Morente said in a statement on Sunday.
He added the agency will continue implementing existing international travel restrictions until these are eased by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).
The six Filipinos reportedly told the immigration officer that they were going to Phnom Penh to attend a business meeting on shrimp farming, BI port operations acting chief Grifton Medina said.
However, Medina noted that there have already been several instances of departing Filipino tourists who were stopped from boarding their flights at the NAIA since the government has imposed restrictions on international travel.
Medina urged Filipinos who wish to go on leisure trips or for visits to their relatives abroad to be patient and wait for the IATF to lift the travel restrictions.
“These travel restrictions are only temporary and we should always bear in mind that the government implemented these measures to protect our countrymen against this deadly coronavirus,” he added.
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