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IATF OKs reentry of foreigners to PH

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has allowed the re-entry of foreigners, who were in the Philippines but temporarily left since Dec. 17, Malacañang said.

“The IATF, in its 89th meeting, also allowed the re-entry to the Philippines of foreign nationals with valid and existing visas under Section 9(e) and 9(g) of Commonwealth Act No. 613, as amended, who are already in the country and will be leaving the country starting December 17, 2020,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press statement.

Among the foreigners who can return to the Philippines are those with permanent residence in the Philippines.

Section 9 (g) of the Commonwealth Act 613 or the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940 states that foreign visa holders are those “lawfully admitted into the Philippines for permanent residence, who is returning from a temporary visit abroad to an unrelinquished residence in the Philippines.”

Roque said foreigners who wish to go back to the Philippines after overseas travel must have a valid and existing visa on the date of the arrival; a pre-booked testing for coronavirus disease 2019 at a laboratory operating at the airport; and a pre-booked quarantine facility.

Returning foreigners must also be subject to the maximum capacity of inbound passengers at the port and date of entry, he added.

“In this regard, the Bureau of Immigration has been directed to issue the guidelines to implement this IATF resolution on foreign nationals,” Roque said.

The IATF-EID, in Resolution 89, said the new policy should be “without prejudice to immigration laws, rules and regulations.”

Based on the new resolution, BI Commissioner Jaime Morente still has the “exclusive prerogative” to decide on waiver or recall of exclusion orders for the foreigners.

The BI, based on IATF-EID Resolution 89, is also instructed to coordinate with the airlines. The Immigration bureau in November allowed foreign traders and investors to enter the country amid the Covid-19 pandemic.*PNA

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