IATF: ‘MGA BALIKBAYAN, DAYUHANG ASAWA AT ANAK NG MGA PINOY, MAAARI NANG MAKAPASOK NG BANSA’

Ni Raiza F. Cabugwang
Photo courtesy of pna.gov.ph
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Sa bisa ng Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) Resolution No. 85 na inaprubahan noong Nobyembre 27, pinapayagan nang makapasok ng Pilipinas ang mga asawang dayuhan at anak na mga banyaga ng mga balikbayan gayundin ang mga dating Filipino citizen simula Disyembre 7, 2020.

Ayon sa IATF, pinapayagan ang mga nabanggit na indibidwal na makapasok ng bansa nang walang kinakailangang visa alinsunod sa Republic Act No. 6768 o ang “Act Instituting the Balikbayan Program.”

Ang hakbang na ito ay kaugnay pa rin sa unti-unting pagluluwag sa travel restrictions ng bansa sa gitna ng pandemya.

Gayunpaman, may ilang kondisyon na dapat sundin, tulad na lamang ng pagkakaroon ng pre-booked quarantine facility at pre-booked COVID-19 testing sa isang laboratoryo sa airport. Ang kanilang pagpasok ng bansa ay base rin sa maximum capacity ng inbound passengers sa port at date of entry.

Kaugnay sa naturang pasya, ipinag-utos ng IATF sa Bureau of Immigration na gumawa ng mga panuntunan para masigurong maayos ang pagpapatupad nito. Ang Department of Tourism naman ay naatasang maglabas ng guidelines upang matiyak na sapat ang maibibigay na accommodation para sa mga nabanggit na pupunta o magbabalik ng  bansa.

Ikinatuwa naman ni Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat ang nasabing desisyon ng IATF at sinabing makakatulong ang naturang hakbang hindi lamang sa sektor ng turismo sa bansa na lubhang apektado ng pandemya, ngunit pati na rin sa mga kababayang nais makapiling ang kanilang mga mahal sa bahay, lalo na ngayong Kapaskuhan.

“Balikbayans are considered a viable source market of the country for tourism, particularly extending to the second and third generation dependents who have yet to discover their parents’ roots. The Filipino diaspora has reached about 10 million. That is why we deem important the Filipino communities abroad as staunch partners in driving visitors to the Philippines,” pahayag ng Kalihim.

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