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BI: Foreigners with SRRV may enter Philippines

Evelyn Macairan (The Philippine Star) - June 7, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Foreigners holding a special resident retiree’s visa (SRRV) may now enter the Philippines, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said yesterday.

In an advisory, BI Commissioner Jaime Morente announced that foreigners issued an SRRV by the Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA) will no longer need an entry exemption document to enter the country.He said the new entry status afforded SRRV holders was permitted by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the
 Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) upon the recommendation of the Department of Tourism (DOT).

However, all other foreigners holding tourist visas are still not permitted to enter the country, unless authorized by the country’s foreign posts abroad through an entry exemption document, Morente said.

BI port operations division chief Carlos Capulong added that all arriving passengers are still required to present their 10-day quarantine hotel or facility booking, except for those who have been fully vaccinated in the Philippines, who would only need to present a seven-day booking.

Capulong also clarified that until June 15, all those coming from the seven travel-restricted countries – India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Oman and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – are still not allowed to enter the country.

He added that their personnel are on standby to service passengers that may arrive through repatriation programs of government or non-government entities for Filipinos coming from the seven countries.

Deployment ban to Myanmar

Meanwhile, a partial deployment ban to Myanmar is now in place due to the prevailing hostilities there.

In a resolution, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) barred newly hired overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from departing for Myanmar.

“Under Alert Level 2, only the processing and deployment of returning OFWs with existing employment contracts shall be allowed; and the processing and deployment of newly hired OFWs shall be suspended,” the POEA reported.

POEA said the suspension in processing and deploying OFWs for Myanmar is only temporary or until the situation there improves.

After violent mass protest broke out in Myanmar, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) raised a crisis alert level 2 last February.

Policy on Lebanon

Also, POEA chief Bernard Olalia said there has been no change in policy on the deployment prohibition to Lebanon.

“The public is warned that until the suspension is lifted, recruitment and placement of Filipinos for deployment to Lebanon is prohibited,” said Olalia as he received reports that certain individuals and entities are recruiting OFWs bound for Lebanon.

He warned that the Philippine embassy in Lebanon has expressed concern over the rising number of migrant workers becoming victims of trafficking, human rights abuses and labor contract violations there.

“The POEA is currently investigating these reports in coordination with law enforcement agencies,” he added.

Singapore rules

Meanwhile, OFWs are not required to be vaccinated to enter and work in Singapore, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said.

“It is not a condition for OFWs to be inoculated before departing for their jobs. However, the Singapore government requires them to undergo a 21-day institutional quarantine and take RT-PCR test thrice,” labor attaché in Singapore Saul De Vries said.

While De Vries sees bright employment opportunities for OFWs in Singapore as its economy starts to improve, the government has temporarily suspended the entry foreign workers from high-risk countries, including the Philippines.

“Hopefully, such regulation or policy will be reviewed this coming July when cases of COVID-19 infection have slowed down,” he said. – Mayen Jaymalin

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