BI bares 95% dip in inbound, outbound int’l passengers

THE number of international passengers who entered and exited the country since the start of the community quarantine dropped by at least 95 percent compared to the same period last year, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said. 

The BI said that passenger arrival volume from March 16 to June 30 declined by more than 96 percent while departure volume decreased by 95 percent vis-a-vis their number a year ago. 

The sharp drop was attributed to passenger statistics to the suspension of international flights by different airlines, in addition to the imposition of travel restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Immigration deputy spokesperson and BI National Operations Center (BINOC) acting chief Melvin Mabulac disclosed that only 189,000 passengers arrived from March 16 to June 30 which is a far cry to the more than 5.16 million passengers who arrived in the same period in 2019.

He also said that only 238,000 passengers left the country during the period compared to the 5.18 million who departed in that time last year.

Mabulac explained that the bulk of passengers arrived and departed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) since all the other international ports were closed during the lockdown.

He said it was only in June that the government allowed international flights to resume at the Clark and Mactan airports. 

“Also included in these figures are the more than 16,000 seafarers who disembarked after being quarantined aboard their vessels anchored at the Manila Bay,” Mabulac added.