China, HK, Macau travelers banned

February 05, 2020

Bureau of Immigration (BI) officers in the different international airports and seaports have been ordered to strictly implement the ban on the entry of travelers from the People’s Republic of China and its Special Administrative Regions due to the Novel Corona virus Acute Respiratory Disease (2019 nCoV ARD) outbreak.

BI spokesperson Dana Sandoval said the bureau’s port personnel to see to it that the ban is implemented to the letter and that all BI port personnel be told to exercise extra care and vigilance in screening arriving passengers.

She said the bureau’s port operations division (POD) headed by Grifton Medina has been assisting the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) in filtering arriving passengers through “redundancy checks”.

Airlines and shipping agents were also advised not to board passengers with travel history within the last 14 days in the concerned areas, she added.

A memorandum order issued last Sunday by BI-POD chief Grifton Medina spelled out the guidelines that BI officers must observe in enforcing the travel ban.

It states that any passenger of any nationality who has been to China and their Special Administrative Regions within 14 days before coming to the Philippines shall automatically be denied entry. The only exception will be Filipino Citizens and Alien Permanent Status holders.’

Medina also identified permanent resident aliens as those who were issued immigrant visas under the Philippine immigration act; those who availed of the alien legalization program under EO 324; those who availed of the alien social integration program under RA 7919; native-born foreign nationals; aliens who acquired permanent resident status by reason of marriage to Filipinos, and aliens with approved refugee status.

The guidelines also state that if a foreign passenger not exempted from the ban happens to disembark, he or she shall automatically be excluded and immediately sent back to the port of origin.

Filipinos and aliens exempted from the ban who arrive from China, Hong Kong and Macau including flight crew, shall be turned over to the Quarantine Bureau for their assessment, together with a copy of their arrival cards.