The number of foreigners who have arrived and departed from the Philippines from March to June has shrunk by at least 95% compared to the same months last year, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) announced today.
BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said that the number of arrivals has been cut by 96% while the number of foreigners leaving went down by 95% during those months, in which most parts of the country were put under strict lockdown. He said the decrease in the numbers was caused by the cancellation of flights by international airlines and the border restrictions imposed by many countries, which was done to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Translated into numbers, 189,000 passengers arrived from March 16 to June 30, much lower than the 5.16 million passengers in the same period in 2019. Meanwhile, 238,000 passengers left the country in those months, compared to the 5.18 million recorded last year. Most travelers departed and arrived from Pasay City’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport because it was the only one that remained open during the enhanced community quarantine.
Morente said that he does not think that the numbers will improve in the immediate future because most countries are still dealing with the pandemic.
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.