By Ferdinand Patinio
MANILA – Visa-required foreign nationals who are parents or children of Filipinos may now enter the country without an entry exemption document (EED) from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the Bureau of Immigration (BI) announced on Wednesday.
Commissioner Jaime Morente said while these foreigners are no longer required to present EEDs upon arrival at the airports, they are still required to secure the appropriate 9(a) visas from any of the Philippine embassies or consulates abroad.
He said the policy is pursuant to the latest resolution issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) which amended a previous resolution that exempted only foreign spouses of Filipinos from securing an EED before entering the Philippines.
“We welcome the IATF’s move to relax the travel guidelines for foreigners who are immediate relatives of our kababayans. It will allow families to reunite, and will also attract more foreign tourists to come here, helping hasten the recovery of our economy which has been badly hit by the pandemic,” Morente added in a statement.
However, the BI chief said the sticker visas of these foreign parents and children of Filipino citizens should contain the notation “Foreign Spouse/Parent/Child not covered by IATF Resolution 160-B; No EED Required.”
In a letter last February 17, the DFA requested the BI to allow holders of valid 9(a) visas with the said notation to enter the Philippines without an EED.
The department also informed the bureau that it has instructed all Philippine foreign service posts to use the notation in issuing visas to visa-required foreign spouses, parents, and children of Filipino nationals.
The IATF-EID resolution stemmed from the government’s earlier decision to allow the visa-free entry into the Philippines for 30 days of international travelers who come from countries covered by Executive Order (EO) 408.
Currently, there are more than 150 countries listed under the order while foreigners from countries not covered by the EO need to secure a 9(a) visa to enter the Philippines even if they are married to or are parents or children of Filipinos who may or may not be traveling with them. (PNA)