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BI sees 40-percent increase in foreigners, balikbayan arrivals to PH

AFTER reopening borders last February 10, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) has been processing international passenger arrivals at the country’s ports at a record rate.

BI Commissioner Jaime Morente announced on Wednesday that the number of international arriving travelers last February has increased more than 40-percent compared to January of this year.

According to Morente, the total number of arriving passengers increased to 211,899 from only 150,740 last January.

“This is also more than 130-percent higher than the 91 thousand passenger arrivals in February of 2021,” Morente further shared.

Meanwhile, BI port operations chief Atty. Carlos Capulong shared that among the more than 211-thousand arriving passengers, 154,661 were Filipinos.

“72-percent of those who arrived last February were returning Filipinos. This is followed by Americans with 21,383 arrivals, Canadians with 4,026, and British with 3,250,” Capulong bared.

Capulong also assured the public that the BI is ready for the continued increase in foot traffic in the airports. “The foresight on international travel is getting better. We have deployed enough officers and improved our e-gate services at our international ports to guarantee efficiency at the BI stations,” said Capulong.

Morente then expressed his optimism as the travel industry recovers. “After almost two years of battling the effects of travel bans and border closures, it is a breath of fresh air to see families and binational couples reunite once again. I am positive that with our continued adherence to health protocols, we are slowly on the road to recovery,” he said. (TSJ)

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