MANILA — Thirty-five registered foreign sex offenders were denied entry in the Philippines in 2020, the Bureau of Immigration said Tuesday, marking a significant decline from 2019 owing to last year's travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
BI commissioner Jaime Morente said that under the Philippine Immigration Act, foreigners convicted of crimes involving moral turpitude are to be excluded upon arrival in any of the country’s ports of entry.
Registered sex offenders or RSOs are those previously convicted of a sex crime in their country and have finished serving sentence or are out on parole or probation, he said. Many of them are convicted pedophiles.
In 2019, the Philippines barred 160 RSOs, said Morente in a statement.
“When encountered by our officers at the ports, these sex offenders are immediately turned back and booked on the first available flight to their port of origin,” Morente said.
The official noted that in the United States and other Western countries, governments maintain a sex offender registry that allows authorities to trace activities and movements of their RSOs.
“We will continue to ban the entry of these sex offenders into the Philippines as they pose a serious threat to the well-being of Filipino women and children," said Morente.