Cebu airport turns away 3 foreigners

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LOVE does not conquer all.

Three foreigners, all with romantic interests from the Philippines, were turned away on their arrival at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport recently after they failed to present valid entry visas, according to the Bureau of Immigration (BI).

Two of the passengers, an Australian and a German, were turned back by immigration officers on Tuesday after arriving from Singapore.

The third passenger, an American, was turned back after he arrived on Saturday, Oct. 2, from Los Angeles, USA, the bureau said on its Facebook page Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021.

Two of the foreigners said their spouses were Filipinos who were not traveling with them, while the third foreigner said he was here to visit his Filipina fiancée.

All three claimed not to know that they were supposed to get a visa before traveling to the Philippines.

These incidents prompted BI Commissioner Jaime Morente to remind foreign nationals that the Philippines is still closed to foreign tourists due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and that only aliens with valid and existing visas are allowed entry.

Morente advised tourists or temporary visitors coming to the Philippines for business, humanitarian or other meritorious reasons to apply for 9(a) visas and entry exemption documents from any Philippine embassy or consulate abroad.

Morente said airlines also have the responsibility to check that foreigners who booked their flights to the Philippines have valid visas.

“Airlines are subjected to administrative fines if they board improperly documented foreign nationals,” said Morente. “Hence we wish to reiterate the importance of proper documentation to avoid such incidents.”

He did not name the airlines involved in the incidents. (CTL)

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