BI sees daily arrivals hit 12K this summer

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(File photo)

MANILA – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) said on Monday that all international airports in the country are expected to register 12,000 arrivals this summer.

Commissioner Jaime Morente said that two weeks after the national government approved the entry of fully vaccinated foreign nationals from visa-free countries, the number of arrivals has reached more than 9,000 a day.

“Now, after a month, we are seeing over 10,000 arrivals per day,” he said in a statement. “This figure could rise to 12,000 or more during the summer season when many foreign nationals flock to our tourist destinations to enjoy the tropical weather.”

He said the figures include returning Filipino passengers.

Lawyer Carlos Capulong, head of BI’s port operations division, assured that they are ready to serve the largest number of travelers arriving in the country.

“Our men are at full strength and we have deployed 100% of our airport staff to carry out the inspection of documents of arriving passengers. Electronic gates are also fully operational, which would significantly reduce processing time,” he said.

“We are confident that we will be able to provide immigration services to more arriving passengers over the coming months,” he added.

Tourism Ministry Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said earlier that she hoped the Philippines could fully reopen to more foreign tourists by April this year.

“At the moment (the Philippines is) only for 157 visa-free countries, but we hope that by April we will be open to all foreigners,” she said in a television interview.

She said the recommendation to limit leisure travelers to visa-free countries, an easing of restrictions that began last February 10, came from the Foreign Office. (NAP)

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