MANILA — International arrivals to the Philippines have increased since the country fully opened its borders to tourists this month, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said Sunday.
During the first two days of April, total arrivals in the country reached more than 28,000, with 13,525 arrivals recorded on April 1 and more than 15,000 on April 2, BI spokesperson Dana Sandoval said in an interview with ABS-CBN TeleRadyo.
From about 4,000-5,000 daily arrivals last February, the country recorded close to 10,000 arrivals by the end of March, Sandoval said, noting a daily increase of 1,000 arriving passengers per day.
Sandoval noted that while the government has implemented pre-pandemic arrival requirements, the current figures are still far from 2019 when the country had more than 40,000 passengers arriving daily.
“So matatagalan pa po ito [bago makabalik sa pre-pandemic levels], pero nakikita po natin na consistently tumataas po through the weeks ‘yung bilang,” Sandoval said.
(It will take a while before our arrivals return to pre-pandemic levels, but we can see that the numbers are consistently increasing through the weeks.)
Sandoval said the BI is seeing a significant increase of international arrivals to the Philippines by the third quarter of 2022.
“Hindi naman po major leap ang nakikita natin, but consistently po tumataas naman siya,” she said.
(We are not seeing a major leap, but are we seeing a consistent increase in international arrivals.)
Sandoval also noted that passengers coming to the country can still choose between RT-PCR and antigen test results before arrival.
To enter the Philippines, arriving passengers must present a negative RT-PCR test result taken with 48 hours before departure from their point of origin, or a negative laboratory-based antigen test result taken within 24 hours from departure.
Returning overseas Filipinos, as well as foreign nationals with long-term Philippine visas, need not secure a travel insurance before coming to the country, Sandoval said.
Starting April 1, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) lifted the limit of international arrivals to the country, effectively opening Philippine borders to all passengers.
“This latest development opens the country to all fully vaccinated tourists from all countries, and means the country’s tourism industry is well on its way to recovery,” tourism secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat had said in a statement.