Over 3,000 foreigners, the majority of them Koreans, have been barred from entering the country last year, the Bureau of Immigration said yesterday.
BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said 3,044 aliens were denied entry in 2020 as compared to 7,700, who were turned away in 2019.
A large number of aliens were turned away from January to March 2020, or before the government enforced a lockdown that led to the suspension of many international flights and closure of the country’s borders to foreign travelers.
“As expected, there were fewer aliens excluded last year considering that passenger arrivals during that period dropped by a whopping 74 percent, mainly due to international travel restrictions imposed after the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak,” he said in a statement.
Lawyer Candy Tan, chief of port operations division, said Koreans topped the list of excluded aliens at 1,350.
Also included in the list are 532 Chinese nationals, 333 Vietnamese, 247 Americans, 181 Indonesians, and 180 Malaysians.
She added that 53 percent of passengers were turned back for being likely to become public charge, while 16 percent were disallowed entry for being improperly documented in relation to imposed travel restrictions.
The BI official said 112 aliens were also turned away for being on the immigration blacklist of unwanted aliens while 29 passengers were sent back for having been previously deported from the Philippines for violating immigration laws.
There were 18 foreign passengers who were denied entry for being rude, unruly, and discourteous towards immigration officers. Morente assured that the bureau continues to be vigilant in screening arriving aliens to make sure that only those eligible for admission were allowed entry.*PNA