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BI to roll out e-travel fully on April 15

By: Jerry S. Tan

Travelers to and from the Philippines will now experience a faster and more convenient immigration procedure through the use of the e-Travel System starting April 15.

Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Norman Tansingco defined the e-Travel System as a single data collection platform for arriving and departing passengers for purposes of establishing an integrated border control, health surveillance, and economic data analysis.

“Not only does this speed up immigration clearance, this initiative also ensures interoperability among border management agencies, and saves government resources,” said Tansingco.

The system is an initiative of a sub-technical working group of the IATF, chaired by the BI. It is a joint project of the agency with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), the Department of Tourism (DOT), the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ), the Bureau of Customs (BOC), the Department of Health (DOH), the Department of Transportation (DOTr), the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the National Privacy Commission (NPC).

The platform, which was initially launched in December, was initially rolled out at the arrival area and was expanded to cover departing travelers.

All passengers and crew members arriving into the Philippines are required to register through etravel.gov.ph not earlier than 72 hours from their intended arrival.

Those who will fail to do so may be assisted by airline staff upon their arrival and before assessment by the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ).

As a replacement of the paper-based departure cards, only outbound Filipino passengers are required to register in the e-Travel system 72 hours but not less than 3 hours from their scheduled departure from the Philippines.

Those departing Filipino passengers who will fail to register or update their e-Travel record may do this before undergoing immigration inspection or may fill out departure cards which are readily available inside the immigration area.

Already registered passengers may update their e-Travel status under the Edit Registration tab while crewmembers may update under the Registered Crew tab.

“The paper-based arrival and departure cards can only be used by passengers who are incapable of e-Travel registration and in the event that the e-Travel site is inaccessible,” the Bl Chief discussed.

Tansingco then clarified that registering and updating in the e-Travel portal is free of charge and fake sites who charge may be reported to the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC).

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