Two identical Bombardier planes registered in the US are being service in a restricted zone of the airport tarmac area. Bill Gates and wife Melinda are expected to leave Manila Thursday afternoon to an undisclosed destination. Photo by Raoul Esperas
MANILA – Bill Gates, the world's richest man, is set to leave Manila Thursday afternoon to end a 12-day discreet visit to the Philippines.
An immigration officer told ABS-CBN that a representative of the billionaire requested for a special customs, immigration and quarantine (CIQ) clearance, which is a requirement for all departing passengers.
A special group of CIQ personnel will reportedly be dispatched at the tarmac area on Thursday where Gates’s private plane is parked.
Two private Bombardier planes are scheduled to fly Gates and his wife Melinda out of the country after their vacation with their children at the high-end resort Amanpulo in Palawan.
The two US-registered planes were serviced by a fuel company at the tarmac area on Wednesday in preparation for their departure Thursday afternoon.
Aviation officials said the planes are schedule to depart at 1:45 p.m., but the destination and manifest were not disclosed for security reasons.
Airport security sources, meanwhile, said Gates and his group have the option to either board one of the two 24-seater private planes or jointly board one plane while the other will serve as backup.
Gates’s two children and other companions left the country earlier this week and took a regular commercial flight back to the US.
Gates reportedly visited the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Los Baños, Laguna last week.
Gates is the co-chairperson of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation with his wife. They are the single biggest private donor to IRRI, giving an estimated $18 million annually.