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BI ready for Philippines reopening to foreigners

Robertzon Ramirez - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) is ready for the influx of international passengers after the government scrapped facility-based quarantine for fully vaccinated foreigners starting Feb. 10.

“We have the manpower to address this projected increase in passenger volume at our airports,” BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said yesterday.

He said 401 immigration personnel, most of them assigned at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), have returned to work after they recovered from COVID-19.

Morente said they would continue to operate at full capacity at various airports.

He said the BI formed a reserve team of immigration officers to assist their frontliners at the airport if the need arises.

NAIA Terminals 1, 2 and 3, which are serving more than 40 foreign airlines, have daily quotas of only 3,000 international passengers.

The Clark International Airport is requesting the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to increase its daily international passenger quota from 800 to 1,200.

The national pandemic task force reduced international tourist arrivals at Clark due to the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

Aside from Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and Air Asia, Clark airport services Jin Air, Jetstar, Jeju Air, Scoot, Emirates Air and Qatar Airways. – Rudy Santos

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