UDPATE: ALL FILIPINOS & their FOREIGN SPOUSES & CHILDREN MAY NOW ENTER
Ban is in Response to COVID-19 Surge in Metro Manila
The National Task Force against COVID-19 on Friday March 19, 2021, reversed an earlier edict which had banned all Filipinos and their foreign spouses from entering the Philippines. All Filipino citizens are now allowed to return to the Philippines.
The ban is in effect from March 22 to 11:59 pm of April 21, 2021. Diplomats, foreigners involved in medical repatriation, foreign seafarers under the ‘green lanes’ program, foreign spouses and children of Filipino citizens traveling with them (balikbayans) and emergency and other humanitarian cases approved by the task force are exempted from the ban.
Earlier, the travel restriction only exempted OFWs. It was also supposed to be implemented from March 20 to April 19.
In addition, the number of inbound passengers before the suspension takes effect will be limited to only 1,500 per day. The ban is the latest edict from the COVID-19 Task Force of the Philippines.
In the past few days, the Philippines has been recording around 5,000 daily COVID-19 cases. The country last hit 5,000 new cases on Aug. 26, 2020 when it tallied 5,277 cases.
In addition, a new curfew in Metro Manila is in place. The curfew runs from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Minors are also banned from going outside.
Nine thousand police officers in the Metro will chase after health protocol violators. Don’t worry about drug dealers, murderers, rapists, and thieves, the police are going after curfew violators and social distancing scofflaws.
Check out this police bike patrol in San Juan harassing couples displaying public displays of affection, PDAs.
The Blame Game
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque blames locals for the surge. By the way, Roque, who likes to frolic in popular tourist spots like Boracay and Baguio, now has COVID-19.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III cited increased mobility and the re-opening of the “large part” of the economy in the rise of COVID-19 infections in the country.
However, the Healthcare Professionals Alliance against COVID-19 (HPAAC) has a different take. Alliance doctor Antonio Dans says this:
“They [the people] are doing everything they can. Enough with blaming people.”