Foreign investors are now allowed to enter the Philippines, the Bureau of Immigration announced over the weekend.
“Effective immediately, treaty traders and treaty investors, or those issued visas pursuant to Section 9(d) of the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940 are allowed to enter the country,” said Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente in a statement.
The Immigration Bureau said 9(d) visas are given to entrepreneurs who have invested in businesses in the country. The same visa is given to the entrepreneur’s spouse, children below 18 years old, and employees.
Foreign workers holding visas issued by the Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan, Cagayan Economic Zone Authority, and Clark Development Corporation have also been allowed to enter the Philippines.
Meanwhile, Morente said today in a separate statement that they are witnessing a massive exodus of foreign nationals from the country. Most of those who have left are Korean nationals, 400,000 of whom have gone; Americans and Chinese with about 300,000 departures each; and the Japanese with at least 166,000 exits.
From January to September 2020, only about 1.5 million foreigners arrived in the country, most of whom came here before travel restrictions were implemented.
“Similar to our overseas Filipino workers who wished to come home to their families during the pandemic, a lot of foreign nationals left as well…A lot of businesses closed, which also affected the foreign community in the Philippines,” Morente said.
He added that because of the coronavirus pandemic, for the first time, there were more foreigners leaving the country than those entering it. For example, from January to September 2020, at least 188,517 Chinese nationals arrived in the country, but 292,669 of them left during the same period.
He said that the mass exodus could prove detrimental to the already struggling tourism industry. At one point, tourism contributed about 13% of the Philippines’ gross domestic product, but travel restrictions aimed at controlling the spread of the coronavirus have led to millions of workers losing their jobs.
This article, Bureau of Immigration allows entry of foreign investors into PH, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.