The Duterte government announced today that foreigners holding long-term visas will be allowed to enter the Philippines starting Aug. 1.
In a statement released to the media, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said that travelers must meet certain requirements before they are allowed to enter the country, including holding a “valid and existing visa.”
“This means no new entry visa shall be accepted. They are likewise subject to the maximum capacity of inbound passengers at the port and date of entry, as returning overseas Filipinos will be given priority. Foreign nationals must also secure a pre-booked accredited quarantine facility and a pre-booked COVID-19 testing provider,” Roque said.
To control the spread of COVID-19, the government previously prohibited the arrival of most foreign nationals, allowing only workers of accredited international organizations and alien spouses and children of Filipinos to enter the country. This decision has resulted in a significant drop in foreign arrivals, with the Bureau of Immigration reporting that 189,000 passengers arrived from March 16 to June 30, much lower than the 5.16 million passengers in the same period in 2019.
Resorts, restaurants, and hotels in the country have been battered by the pandemic, with a few closing down, leaving thousands unemployed. The tourism industry contributes as much as 12.7% to the Philippines’ annual gross domestic product.
Roque’s announcement comes a week after the government lifted its ban on non-essential travel, allowing Filipinos to go on leisure trips overseas.
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