FOREIGN parents of Filipino citizens who have valid visas and are traveling with them may now enter the Philippines.
The country’s Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Monday, March 29, announced the new guideline pursuant to the latest resolution issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID).
However, Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente stressed that foreign parents must be traveling with their Filipino children to be able to enter the country.
“If they are traveling alone, they will not be allowed entry even if they hold valid visas as the rules provide that they must be traveling with their Philippine spouse or children,” he said in a statement.
Previously, only the foreign spouses and children of Filipinos who were traveling with them and those who hold valid visas were exempted from the travel ban, which the government imposed on all foreign nationals from March 22 to April 20.
Morente also clarified that foreign seafarers arriving via the seaports are not prohibited from entering the country if they possess the required seaman’s visa or crew list visa.
“We welcome the exemption of foreign seafarers from the travel ban as the Philippines is one of the countries in Asia that has opened a ‘green lane’ for these sailors,” he said.
According to BI bay service section chief Alnazib Decampong, the green lane project was launched by the government to promote the Philippines as a hub for crew change of international maritime vessels and facilitate the free movement of sailors in the region during the pandemic.
The crew change hubs are located in the ports of Manila, Bataan, Batangas, Subic, Cebu, and Davao.