Gov't yet to decide on re-allowing entry of foreigners to PH

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 02 2020 08:56 PM | Updated as of Jun 02 2020 10:03 PM

OFWs get swab tested at a testing center in Manila on May 13, 2020. Multiple buses carrying seafarers and land based OFWs line up outside the Palacio de Maynila mega swabbing center to cater to repatriated Filipinos who have been mostly in quarantine for almost 2 weeks now. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN

MANILA- The Philippines has yet to decide on whether it will allow foreigners to enter the country again following the easing of lockdowns, Malacañang said Tuesday.

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said allowing the entry of foreigners might be a big problem since many overseas Filipino workers are also returning to the Philippines.

"Wala pa ho tayong desisyon sa IATF na papasukin ang mga dayuhan," he said in a Palace press briefing.

(We have yet to decide on allowing the entry of foreigners to the Philippines.)

"Alam ninyo po sa OFWs alone eh halos hindi na tayo magkandaugaga dahil lahat po ng mga umuuwi ay binibigyan natin ng PCR tests. So magkakaroon pa tayo ng mas malaking problema kung pati mga dayuhan ay pauuwin natin," he added.

(We are already having a hard time managing the return of OFWs since they need to be tested for COVID-19. It will be a bigger problem if we add foreigners.)

The Philippines in March restricted the entry of foreign nationals as it sought to contain the spread of COVID-19.

For this month, the labor department said it expects some 16,000 OFWs to return to the Philippines.

The returning OFWs are required to subject themselves to polymerase chain reaction-based (PCR) testing for COVID-19, and to undergo a mandatory 14-day facility-based quarantine.