MANILA-- Close to 3,000 foreigners have been barred from entering the country by Bureau of Immigration (BI) inspectors in the different ports of entry nationwide from January to June this year.
According to BI Commissioner Jaime Morente, out of the 2,717 aliens that were excluded, a total of 2,421 foreigners were intercepted at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
The remaining 296 arrived in the airports of Cebu, Davao, Clark, Iloilo, Kalibo, Laoag, Puerto Princesa, and the Zamboanga City seaport.
He noted that number of aliens denied entry during the first semester was 39 percent higher compared to the 1,948 aliens who were turned back in the same period in 2016.
"We shall continue to exercise utmost vigilance in screening arriving foreigners by seeing to it that they are properly documented and are not likely to become public charges while they are here. It is our job as gatekeepers of the country, the BI chief said in a statement.
Morente noted that the bulk of the aliens that were turned back were considered public charges, or aliens who would depend on government for subsistence and become social burdens due to lack of financial capacity to support their stay in the country.
NAIA-BI statistics showed that visitors from China recorded the highest number of barred nationals totaling to 1,594, followed by Indians with 127; 117 South Koreans, 106 Americans, 101 Vietnamese and 43 Indonesians.
On the other hand, BI port operation division Marc Red MariAas explained that a foreigner may also be denied entry if based on the immigration officer's assessment his presence here is inimical to the national interest or a threat to public health and safety.
That is why among those we have turned away are registered and convicted sex offenders, fugitives from justice, suspected terrorists, previously deported aliens, and those who are in our blacklist of undesirable aliens, he added.
MariAas said the list also include foreign passengers who did not have entry visas or are not properly documented to enter the country.
The BI has processed some 3.6 million foreigners who entered the country during the first semester.
Source: Philippines News Agency