New Regulations to Take Place Feb. 16, 2021
First of all, this story broke late Friday afternoon, February 5, 2021. Supposedly, the Philippines’ COVID-19 Task Force is going to allow more foreigners in the country. That’s what the headlines were announcing on a multitude of online newspapers. The new regulations are to take place February 16, 2021. However, the new rules on allowing foreigners to Philippines need clarification. I was hesitant to post this story at first. I was hoping for more insight from Immigration. That hasn’t come yet
Consequently, there seems to be some uncertainty regarding this latest edict from the Task Force. Frankly, I’m currently confused as a goat on AstroTurf.
Let’s look at an excerpt directly taken from the Philippine Bureau of Immigration’s Facebook page.
I’m not an Immigration lawyer, but I’ve been following Immigration policies in the Philippines for the past 11 years. What is actually changing? Tourist visas are still not allowed. Permanent Resident and Temporary Resident Visas holders have been back in the Philippines for months.
Balikbayans, those holding a Filipino passport, and their spouses have also been able to return to the Philippines.
IATF-EID and Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. reiterated that foreign nationals with valid visas as of March 2020 last year might now enter the country starting February 16.
Also allowed to enter the Philippines are holders of valid and existing special resident and retirees visa and temporary visitor’s visa.
Roque said tourists are still not allowed to enter the Philippines unless they are covered by exemptions.
“[The government will decide on the exemptions on a] case to case [basis]. [There must be an] endorsement from individual departments, [for example] DoE (Department of Energy) for energy related concerns,” said Roque.
However, there is no information as to how a tourist might actually garner an exemption.
Roque said foreign nationals arriving should have a pre-booked accommodation for at least six nights in an accredited quarantine facility or hotel.
They shall also be subject to Covid-19 testing on the sixth day from the date of their arrival.
The Bureau of Immigration’s official website, which I cannot access most of the time, currently doesn’t have any information on the latest regulations as of Saturday afternoon, February 6, 2021.
In addition, BI’s Facebook page only has a photo of the Task Force’s new rules without any clarification on those rules. Again, I’ve already shown the main excerpt from the Task Force.
Despite hundreds of comments on Immigration’s Facebook page, there have no explanations or further information.
Perhaps, Immigration will further clarify the new regulations but at this time, I don’t see where much has changed.
I’ll be sure to keep my readers posted on any changes or further explanation of the new rules. I’ll keep checking. In addition, maybe that light bulb over my fat Kano head will eventually turn on.
To sum it up here’s a look at past Immigration policies that should still be in effect.
The above graphics are from the Philippine Bureau of Immigration’s Facebook page.
Travelers from 36 countries with COVID-19 strains could not enter the PH until January 31, 2021. That ban is no longer in effect.
With reporting from the Manila Times