CHINESE top the list of more than 700 undesirable aliens who were turned back or barred entry to the Philippines, according to the Bureau of Immigration (BI).
Immigration records showed that a total of 720 foreigners were excluded last month upon arrival at the Ninoy
Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and other ports of entry for their failure to explain the purpose of their travel to the Philippines and for being improperly documented, while some were on the BI’s derogatory list.
Of the number, 364 were Chinese, followed by 37 Indonesians, 31 Vietnamese, 27 South Koreans, 26 Indians, 19 Taiwanese, 15 Cameroonians, 15 Americans, 14 Uzbeks and 13 Nigerians.
The record does not include Chinese who are in detention for their involvement in illegal drugs and other criminal activities.
Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente on Monday disclosed that as added measure, the bureau would be hiring six Chinese interpreters to be deployed at the international airports to help immigration officers to communicate better with arriving Chinese tourists.
Morente said the immigration officers have the discretion to order the exclusion of an arriving foreigner if the latter cannot satisfactorily answer certain questions on matters such as his travel itinerary, his intended length of stay here and his purpose of travel to the Philippines.
“Under immigration laws, a foreigner is labeled a public charge if his presence here would constitute a burden to the State, thus he is deemed undesirable and therefore excludable,” the BI chief explained.
He said that excluded aliens are immediately booked on the first available flight to their port of origin and afterward placed on the immigration blacklist.
Meanwhile, lawyer Ma. Antonette Mangrobang, BI spokeswoman, announced that the BI is renewing its initiative to institute an Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) that will require all incoming and departing aircraft to submit to the bureau an advance copy of their passenger manifests, similar to other modern immigration services.
“This will enable us to screen, vet and pre-clear international travelers prior to their arrival and departure, thus resulting in speedy immigration processing and reduced queuing time in our immigration counters. This is in line with President Duterte’s directive to hasten and improve government services.” Mangrobang said.
Mangrobang added that the APIS initiative was presented to Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre for approval, the BI being an attached agency of the Department of Justice.