Number of int'l travelers dropped by 95 percent since start of lockdown - BI

The number of international passengers who entered and exited the country via the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) following quarantine implementation dropped by at least 95 percent compared to the same period last year according to the Bureau of Immigration (BI).


BI Commissioner Jaime Morente attributed the sharp drop to the suspension of international flights as with the imposition of travel restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We do not foresee these statistics to rise in the near future while the entire world is still fighting to defeat the pandemic,” the BI chief added.

Immigration spokesperson and BI national operations chief Melvin Mabulac disclosed that only 189,000 passengers arrived from March 16 to June 30 compared to the more than 5.1 million passengers who arrived in the same period in 2019.

He also said that only 238,000 passengers left the country during the period compared to the 5.18 million who departed in that time last year.

“Also included in these figures are the more than 16,000 seafarers who disembarked after being quarantined aboard their vessels anchored at the Manila Bay,” he added.  

Mabulac said the bulk of passengers were recorded at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) with all the other international ports closed during lockdown.

The government only allowed international flights to resume at the Clark and Mactan airports in June.