Aliens may be barred entry because of public health, safety, and national security concerns


Dear PAO,
I have a fiancé who arrived in Manila last month. I was not able to see him, though, because he was asked to go back to his country of origin. It was not clear to him why he was not allowed to enter the Philippines. Can this really be done to foreigners? Shouldn’t we welcome them as part of the government’s effort to promote tourism?

Dear Rizza,
Our government recognizes the contributions that foreigners bring to our country especially insofar as Philippine tourism is concerned. However, foreigners may be prohibited from entering our country if it is in the interest of national security, public safety, or public health (Section 6, Article III, 1987 Philippine Constitution).

Additionally, it is specifically provided for under Section 29 (a) of Commonwealth Act No. 613 that certain classes of foreigners shall be excluded from entry into the Philippines, to wit: “(1) Idiots or insane persons and persons who have been insane; (2) Persons afflicted with a loathsome or dangerous contagious disease, or epilepsy; (3) Persons who have been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude; (4) Prostitutes, or procurers, or persons coming for any immoral purposes; (5) Persons likely to become, public charge; (6) Paupers, vagrants, and beggars; (7) Persons who practice polygamy or who believe in or advocate the practice of polygamy; (8) Persons who believe in or advocate the overthrow by force and violence of the Government of the Philippines, or of constituted lawful authority, or who disbelieve in or are opposed to organized government, or who advocate the assault or assassination of public officials because of their office, or who advocate or teach principles, theories, or ideas contrary to the Constitution of the Philippines or advocate or teach the unlawful destruction of property, or who are members of or affiliated with any organization entertaining or teaching such doctrines; (9) Persons over fifteen years of age, physically capable of reading, who cannot read printed matter in ordinary use in any language selected by the alien, but this provision shall not apply to the grandfather, grandmother, father, mother, wife, husband or child of a Philippine citizen or of an alien lawfully resident in the Philippines; (10) Persons who are members of a family accompanying an excluded alien, unless in the opinion of the Commissioner of Immigration no hardship would result from their admission; (11) Persons accompanying an excluded person who is helpless from mental or physical disability or infancy, when the protection or guardianship of such accompanying person or persons is required by the excluded person, as shall be determined by the Commissioner of Immigration; (12) Children under fifteen years of age, unaccompanied by or not coming to a parent, except that any such children may be admitted in the discretion of the Commissioner of Immigration, if otherwise admissible; (13) Stowaways, except that any stowaway may be admitted in the discretion of the Commissioner of Immigration, if otherwise admissible; (14) Persons coming to perform unskilled manual labor in pursuance of a promise or offer of employment, express or implied, but this provision shall not apply to persons bearing passport visas authorized by Section Twenty of this Act; (15) Persons who have been excluded or deported from the Philippines, but this provision may be waived in the discretion of the Commissioner of Immigration: Provided, however, That the Commissioner of Immigration shall not exercise his discretion in favor of aliens excluded or deported on the ground of conviction for any crime involving moral turpitude or for any crime penalized under Sections Forty-Five and Forty-Six of this Act or on the ground of having engaged in hoarding, black-marketing or profiteering unless such aliens have previously resided in the Philippines immediately before his exclusion or deportation for a period of ten years or more or are married to native Filipino women; (16) Persons who have been removed from the Philippines at the expense of the Government of the Philippines, as indigent aliens, under the provisions of section forty-three of this Act, and who have not obtained the consent of the Board of Commissioners to apply for readmission; and (17) Persons not properly documented for admission as may be required under the provisions of this Act.

Accordingly, your fiancé may be prohibited by the Immigration officers at the airport from entering the Philippines if he falls under any of the categories abovementioned. If you or your fiancé would like to know the particular reason why he was not allowed to enter our country, we recommend that you coordinate, in behalf of your fiancé, with the Bureau of Immigration, Manila.

We hope that we were able to answer your queries. Please be reminded that this advice is based solely on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.


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