By Jun Ramirez
The Bureau of Immigration (BI) launched Monday its online appointment system for clients at the main office in Intramuros, Manila following the government’s decision to place Metro Manila and other areas of the country under General Community Quarantine (GCQ).
BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said the BI decided to adapt the procedure as part of “New Normal” protocols designed to achieve social distancing and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“Henceforth, only clients with appointment code will be served during the specified date and time of their appointment,” Morente said.
Also, clients will have to present government-issued or valid identification cards before they could enter the bureau’s premises.
“Nonetheless, clients may still avail of the services of BI-accredited travel agencies and law offices if they wish so that the latter may secure the online appointment and transact business on their behalf,” he explained.
The complete set of instructions and requirements needed for every BI transaction can be accessed thru the bureau’s website at www.immigration.gov. ph.
To further facilitate physical distancing, Morente urged those who have inquiries or complaints to course their concerns through the BI’s online social media platforms and telephone hotlines, details of which can also be found in the said website.
Meanwhile, BI OIC Spokesperson Melvin Mabulac clarified that the foreigners who are holders of Permanent Resident Visas are not allowed to enter the country under existing travel restrictions imposed by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Infections Diseases (IATF).
He further stated that foreign crew members of airlines are allowed to enter the country aside from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), foreign spouses and dependents of Filipino citizens, and foreign diplomats.