Pinoys cannot leave PH for tourism-BI

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DAVAO CITY — Filipinos who want abroad for tourism purposes is not allowed, said Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Jaime Morente, saying Pinoys are restricted to leave the country due to the continuing global COVID-19 pandemic.

Morente issued a statement on Monday, following reports that six Filipinos were recently barred from going to Cambodia via a special chartered flight from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

The Immigration statement claimed on June 29, the immigration officers in NAIA stopped the six individuals from going to Phnom Penh who will “merely attend a business meeting on shrimp farming”.

They were offloaded because they are mere tourists whose purpose in going abroad is not essential, neither do they fall under the category of travelers who are exempted from the travel ban while the country is under community quarantine.

It was not the first time that the Filipino tourists were barred from boarding their flights at the NAIA since the government imposed restrictions on international travel three months ago due to the pandemic.

“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 in a statement stressed.

The BI chief appealed to the public for understanding, saying the Bureau will continue to implement existing international travel restrictions until these are lifted or relaxed by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).

The Immigration urged Filipinos who wish to embark on leisure trips or visit their relatives to be patient and wait for the IATF-EID to lift the said 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,” the statement emphasized.-Newsline

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