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BI to look into alleged entry of Chinese workers despite travel ban

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Thursday said it would look into reports about the continued entry of Chinese workers despite the travel ban to stem the spread of COVID-19.

“I would have to verify,” BI spokesperson Dana Sandoval said in an interview with SuperRadyo dzBB.

“So far, we haven’t received any report given that the entry of foreigners holding work visas and tourist visas remains suspended.”

Sandoval issued the statement after Super radyo dzBB anchor Arnold Clavio told her in the same interview that he had received information that Chinese nationals working for the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) were able to enter the Philippines despite the travel restrictions.

She said it would be difficult for “unscrupulous activities” involving BI officers to occur given that only a handful of foreigners are allowed to enter the country.

Exempted from the travel ban are foreign diplomats and members of international organizations and their dependents with valid 9(e) or 47(a)2 visas; and those involved in medical repatriation with a valid visa as endorsed by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).

Also exempted are seafarers holding 9(c) visas entering the country for crew change; and parents, spouses and children of Filipinos who are traveling with them.

The ban, which began on March 22, is in effect until April 21. — Virgil Lopez/RSJ, GMA News