MANILA, Philippines – The number of international passengers who entered and exited the country since the start of the community quarantine dropped by at least 95% compared to figures recorded in the same period last year, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said on Wednesday.
In a statement, BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said passenger arrival volume from March 16 to June 30 decreased by more than 96% while departure declined by 95% due to suspension of international flights and imposition of travel restrictions brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.
“We do not foresee these statistics to rise in the near future while the entire world is still fighting to defeat this coronavirus,” Morente said.
In the same statement, Immigration Deputy Spokesperson and BI National Operations Center (BINOC) acting chief Melvin Mabulac disclosed that only 189,000 passengers arrived from March 16 to June 30, which is a far cry from the more than 5.16 million passengers who arrived in the same period in 2019.
He also said that only 238,000 passengers left the country during the period compared to the 5.18 million who departed in that time last year.
Mabulac said the bulk of passengers arrived and departed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) because all other international ports were closed during the lockdown.
He said it was only in June that the government allowed international flights to resume at the Clark and Mactan airports.
“Also included in these figures are the more than 16,000 seafarers who disembarked after being quarantined aboard their vessels anchored at the Manila Bay,” Mabulac said.
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