The government has allowed foreign seafarers to enter the country to board ships, Malacañang said on Tuesday.
Palace spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said the decision was made following the recent meeting of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).
Under Resolution 107, which amends IATF Resolution 105, Roque said that foreign seafarers would be allowed to enter the country under the “green lanes” program for crew change provided that they hold a 9 (c) crew list visa at the time of entry.
Previously, foreign seafarers had to enter the country through seaports only.
“Sa naunang resolusyon ay kailangan ng foreign seafarers na dumating sa ating mga puwerto o seaports. Tinanggal na po ang ‘arriving through seaports’ na phrase (In the first resolution, foreign seafarers needed to arrive at our seaports. The phrase arriving through seaports was removed),” he added.
The IATF recently revised its rules on the entry of travelers, allowing Filipinos residing and working overseas to return to the Philippines.
“All Filipino citizens, whether returning overseas Filipino or overseas Filipino workers (OFW), shall be allowed to return to the Philippines,” IATF Resolution 103 read.
The latest directive came after a memorandum circular temporarily barred non-OFWs from entering the country due to the upward trend in Covid-19 cases nationwide.
Most foreign travelers were banned from entering from March 22 to April 21.
Exempted from the travel restrictions are diplomats and members of international organizations, foreigners involved in medical repatriation, foreign seafarers under the “green lanes” program, foreign spouses and children of Filipino citizens traveling with them, and other emergency humanitarian cases approved by the National Task Force against Covid-19.
However, Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente has the “exclusive prerogative to decide on waiver or recall of exclusion orders for all foreign nationals authorized entry under relevant IATF resolutions, subject to regular reporting to the IATF Secretariat at the end of each calendar month.”
“The entry of all of the foregoing shall still be subject to such daily limit of incoming passengers as may be imposed by the Department of Transportation,” the resolution read.