There are around 75,000 foreigners who have been issued immigrant visas by the Philippine government, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said on Saturday, July 18.
The secretary disclosed this after the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases announced its decision to allow the entry of foreigners with long-term visas starting August 1.
“The first batch of foreign nationals allowed to enter the country starting August 1 consists of immigrant visa holders only,” said Guevarra.
“BI records show around 75,000 such holders,” the secretary revealed.
Guevarra said that among them are “around 15,000 estimated to have been stranded abroad.”
“The rest are here in the country, many of them having resided here for a long time,” he added.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque made the announcement of the IATF’s decision on Friday, July 17.
“They must first have valid and existing visas at the time of the entry. This means no new entry visa shall be accepted,” Roque said.
“They are likewise subject to the maximum capacity of inbound passengers at the port and date of entry, as returning overseas Filipinos will be given priority,” he added.
Foreign nationals are likewise required to secure a pre-booked accredited quarantine facility and a pre-booked COVID-19 testing provider.
Upon arriving in the Philippines, foreigners will also have to undergo polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests to determine if they are infected or not with the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).