Foreign spouses, children of Filipinos may enter Philippines starting December 7 â IATF
This 2017 file photo shows the Christmas rush at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1.
PNA/Avito Dalan, File

Foreign spouses, children of Filipinos may enter Philippines starting December 7 — IATF

( - November 27, 2020 - 10:22am

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 11:32 a.m.) — The COVID-19 task force has permitted the entry of Filipino citizens' foreign spouses and children into the country starting next month.

This was announced by presidential spokesman Harry Roque who said the Inter Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases made this decision on Thursday.

"Also permitted is the entry of former Filipino citizens, including their spouses and children, regardless of age, who are traveling with them," Roque added.

There will similarly be no age restrictions placed on the traveling spouses and children of Filipino citizens.

The entry of these persons are subject to the following conditions, according to the IATF:

  • they are allowed visa-free entry under Executive Order No. 408, series of 1960
  • they are required to pre-book a quarantine facility
  • they must pre-book COVID-19 testing at a laboratory operating at the airport
  • they are subject to the maximum capacity of inbound passengers at the port and date of entry

"The IATF directed the Bureau of Immigration to formulate the necessary guidelines to ensure the smooth implementation of this policy," the spokesman for the COVID-19 task force said.

"The Department of Tourism, on the other hand, is likewise directed to issue the necessary guidelines for the provision of sufficient accommodation for the above mentioned persons taking into account the release of their COVID-19 test results."

DOT: Allowing entry of balikbayans good for industry

In a statement released Friday, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat lauded the decision to allow balikbayans to return to the country during the holidays, calling it "a great cause for celebration for millions of families who long for the homecoming of their relatives abroad." 

In addition to reuniting loved ones, the new IATF decision signals a positive development for the ailing tourism industry, according to Puyat. 

"Balikbayans are considered as a viable source market of the country for tourism, particularly extending to the second and third generation dependents who have yet to discover their parents’ roots," the tourism chief said. 

"The Filipino diaspora to date, has reached about 10 million. That is why we deem important the Filipino communities abroad as staunch partners in driving visitors to the Philippines." — Bella Perez-Rubio

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: January 28, 2021 - 4:20pm

Other regions and provinces in the Philippines considered moderate and low-risk areas will be placed under general community quarantine starting May 1. Bookmark this page for updates. (Main image by The STAR/Edd Gumban)

January 28, 2021 - 4:20pm

The Department of Health reports 1,169 new COVID-19 infections, bringing the national caseload to 519,575.

Of the total cases, 33,427 are active. COVID-19 deaths increase by 71, raising the death toll to 10,552. Recoveries reach 475,596 after 60 more people have recovered. 

January 28, 2021 - 3:25pm

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. will undergo quarantine after meeting with officers who tested positive with COVID-19.

Locsin says the Department of Foreign Affairs will also be on lockdown until Tuesday until they test again.

January 27, 2021 - 4:11pm

The Department of Health reports 2,245 additional COVID-19 cases in the country, pushing the national caseload to 518,407.

Among the positive cases, 32,384 are active cases.

The country's death is at 10,481 with 95 new deaths while total of recovered patients stand at 475,542 with 140 more recoveries.

January 26, 2021 - 4:09pm

The Department of Health registers an additional 1,173 COVID-19 infections. This brings the total number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines to 516,166.

To date, there are 30,357 active cases. Total fatalities climb to 10,386 with 94 new deaths. The Department of Health reports 18 mass recoveries, pushing the total of survivors to 475,423.

January 25, 2021 - 9:45pm

President Rodrigo Duterte rejects the proposal of the inter-agency task force to allow children aged 10 to 14 years old to go outside their homes.

Citing the presence of the new COVID-19 variant in the country, the president says children should stay at home as a precaution.

"It's a sacrifice for the parents and for the children," Duterte says in a recorded address aired Monday night.

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