The Bureau of Immigration (BI) is deporting 10 Chinese nationals caught entering the country via Puerto Princesa City in Palawan aboard a luxury yacht without permission from authorities.
BI Commissioner Jaime Morente ordered the deportation proceedings against crewmen and passengers of SY Me Li 31 after the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) apprehended the vessel last Monday off the coast of Concepcion in Puerto Princesa City.
The BI Chief said the foreign nationals, identified as Zhang Dengkang, Lin Huawei, Zhou Wei, Xu Yuansen, Lou Xioqiang, Zhao Zhoujin, Chang Liujing, Luo Shui Sheng, Chen Zhen Qi, and Zhao Jian Hui, violated Philippine immigration laws entering the country without a visa and prior notice.
BI seaport operations chief Alnazib Decampong explained all vessels bound for the Philippines are required to submit to the bureau advance notice of their arrival as well its crew list and passenger manifest.
Decampong said the Chinese nationals may be considered illegal entrants as they did not apply for visas from the Philippine Consulate in their port of origin before sailing to the country.
The aliens are currently quarantined aboard their yacht, which is anchored in the waters near the Honda Bay Beach Resort in Puerto Princesa.
“They will remain in their ship until they are deported. We will not allow them to go ashore, not only for their having no visas, but also because foreigners like them are restricted from entering the country due to COVID-19,” Decampong said.
He added the impounded yacht may be seized and forfeited in favor of the government as provided under the Philippine Immigration Act.