By Jun Ramirez
The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Wednesday said more than 2,700 foreign nationals were disallowed from entering the country during the first six months of the year as it continues to strengthen border security and thwart the entry of undesirable aliens.
BI Commissioner Jaime Morente disclosed that 2,421 were intercepted at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) while the 296 others arrived in the airports of Cebu, Davao, Clark, Iloilo, Kalibo, Laoag, Puerto Princesa, and the Zamboanga seaport in Zamboanga City.
He said that the bulk of the excluded aliens were considered public charges, or aliens who would depend on government for subsistence and become social burdens due to lack of financial capacity to support their stay in the country.
According to BI port operation division Marc Red Mariñas, a foreigner may also be denied entry if, based on the immigration officer’s assessment, his presence here is inimical to the national interest or a threat to public health and safety.
“That is why among those we have turned away are registered and convicted sex offenders, fugitives from justice, suspected terrorists, previously deported aliens, and those who are in our blacklist of undesirable aliens,” Mariñas said.
He added that the list also include foreign passengers who did not have entry visas or are not properly documented to enter the country.
Morente said the number of aliens denied entry during the first semester was 39-percent higher compared to the 1,948 aliens who were turned back in the same period last year.
“We shall continue to exercise utmost vigilance in screening arriving foreigners by seeing to it that they are properly documented and are not likely to become public charges while they are here,” the BI chief said, adding “it is our job as gatekeepers of the country.”
NAIA-BI statistics showed that 1,594 Chinese nationals topped the list of aliens who were barred at the premiere port, followed by 127 Indians, 117 Koreans, 106 Americans, and 101 Vietnamese, and 43 Indonesians.
The BI processed more than 3.6 million foreigners who entered the country during the first semester.
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