The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Wednesday said 187 foreigners convicted of sex crimes were barred from entering the Philippines last year.
BI port operations division chief Marc Red Mariñas said the number of registered sex offenders (RSOs) denied entry in 2017 was higher than the 144 sex felons intercepted in the different airports in 2016.
RSOs refer to convicted sex offenders who have finished serving their sentences or have been released on probation or parole.
The United States government, for one, maintains a sex offender registry that allows authorities to keep track of the activities and movement of sex offenders.
“RSOs intercepted at the airports are immediately turned away as their names and derogatory records would immediately register a hit in the computer screens the moment their passports are swiped by immigration officers in their scanners,” the BI said.
Americans topped the list of apprehended sex offenders at 153, followed by 19 Australians and 10 Britons.
The BI said an average of 10 to 15 RSOs are being turned back at the airports every month while 90 percent of intercepted RSOs attempted to enter the Ninoy Aquino International Airport while the rest were stopped at the airports in Mactan, Cebu and Clark, Pampanga.
In a statement, Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente credited the continued cooperation extended to the BI by its counterparts abroad, including the Interpol and police attachès of the various foreign missions in Manila.
He said these agencies have been continuously providing the BI with the names and identities of foreign sex offenders so they could be placed in the bureau’s blacklist and turned back if they attempt to enter the Philippines.
“These aliens pose a serious and real threat to our Filipino women and children, anyone of whom could be their next victim if they manage to enter our country undetected,” Morente said. —ALG, GMA News