Team Out of Town Blog Hub (Outoftownblog.com) – The Department of Tourism (DOT) carried out an inspection of airport protocols for arriving foreign tourists at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 today (Feb. 10), the first day of the country’s reopening to fully vaccinated international leisure travelers from visa-free countries.
Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat led a walk-through of the process for international arrivals at the NAIA Terminal 3 (T3). She was joined by NAIA T3 Terminal Head and Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) CDR Ariel Almonte.
“As we welcome our fully-vaccinated visitors to our country, we need to be assured that proper health and safety protocols are strictly enforced in our airports in order to provide a hassle-free entry for travelers,” Puyat said.
Among the areas that were observed by the DOT chief are the Bureau of Quarantine (BoQ) and Bureau of Immigration (BI) counters at the international arrival area, luggage claim area, as well as the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and DOT counters situated near the luggage claim area and airport exits.
According to data generated by the DOT-National Haber Region (DOT-NCR) from the One Health Pass (OHP) System as of 2PM today (February 10), a total 398 out of the 11,492 expected arrivals at NAIA Terminals 1 to 3 are classified as tourists. The bulk of this number will come from USA and Thailand, with 109 and 93 passengers, respectively. Other countries with more than 10 arriving tourists at NAIA today include Malaysia, Canada, Japan, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, and Australia.
Meanwhile, a total of 180 non-OFW travelers are expected to arrive at the Clark International Airport (CRK) today, aboard flights from five different airlines: Emirates; JeJu Air; Jetstar; Qatar Airways; and Scoot.
Puyat is optimistic that the number of inbound tourist arrivals will steadily grow in the coming weeks, as tourists usually need time to finalize their travel plans.
“We at the DOT are glad that we are gradually reopening our borders to foreign visitors. But this enthusiasm is tempered by the constant reminder that the virus is still very much a threat and that we must always be vigilant so as not to negate the efforts we have made over the past two years to contain the virus,” she said.
Additionally, Puyat issued a reminder to all tourism stakeholders to ensure strict adherence to health and safety protocols when handling guests. She likewise reminded all foreign tourists visiting the Philippines to prepare all travel requirements ahead of time and to follow the minimum health protocols such as the wearing of masks, physical distancing, and frequent washing of hands upon their arrival in the country.
According to the guidelines under the IATF-EID Resolution 160-B and amendments approved by the task force in Resolution 160-D, foreign tourists coming from visa-free countries must be able to present the following upon their arrival in the Philippines:
- Acceptable proof of vaccination;
- The negative result of an RT-PCR test taken within 48 hours before the date and time of departure from the country of origin / first port of embarkation in a continuous trip to the Philippines, excluding lay-overs for their return journey;
- Valid tickets for their return journey to the port of origin or next port of destination not later than thirty (30) days from the date of arrival in the Philippines, except for Filipino citizens and former Filipino citizens with balikbayan privilege (under R.A. No. 9174) and their foreign spouses and/or children;
- Passports valid for a period of at least six (6) months at the time of their arrival to the Philippines; and
- Travel insurance for COVID-19 treatment costs from reputed insurers, with a minimum coverage of USD 35,000 for the duration of their stay in the Philippines