Immigration bureau to Filipinos traveling abroad: Make sure to comply with all travel requirements

(Eagle News)–The Bureau of Immigration is reminding travelers to strictly comply with the travel requirements for them to leave the country.

The immigration bureau issued the reminder after the government allowed non-essential international travel for Filipinos months after it was banned to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“We will be very strict in seeing to it that these requirements are fully complied with, otherwise we will not allow them to leave,”  Commissioner Jaime Morente said.

Port operations chief Grifton Medina said these requirements include  a confirmed return ticket for those traveling on tourist visas; adequate travel and health insurance to cover rebooking; and accommodation expenses if stranded and hospitalization, if infected.

Medina said it is also important for the traveler to first check if the country of his destination has not imposed restrictions on the entry of Filipinos.

“They are also required to sign, by their airlines, a declaration acknowledging the risks involved in their travel. They will be informed that upon their return, they will be swab tested for COVID-19 and undergo hotel quarantine,” Medina added.

He added even passengers who comply with the requirements will be subjected to a rigid inspection to make sure that these travelers are not victims of human trafficking and illegal recruitment.

According to Morente,  no one is exempted from complying with the conditions imposed on all outbound Filipinos, unless they are permanent resident, overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), and holders of study visa in their country of destination.

Although non-essential international travel is allowed, he also advised  Filipinos that “unless your purpose in going abroad is really very important that you cannot forego, we advise you to stay until this pandemic is over as the risk of you getting infected by the virus is still very serious.”