|BI fines airlines bringing tourists sans return ticket|
JULY 22, 2012
The Bureau of Immigration (BI) will start imposing administrative fines on airlines that allow foreign tourists bound for the Philippines to board their plane even if they do not have return tickets.
Immigration Commissioner Ricardo David Jr. said he already instructed the BI airport operations division to fine any airline that permits a foreign tourist to board its aircraft without a return ticket before flying to the Philippines .
David stressed that it should be the responsibility of the airlines to see to it that all its passengers who are traveling as tourists have procured the necessary return tickets.
He said the requirement on return tickets for tourists is an international rule that is practiced and implemented in almost all other countries in the world.
“This rule is meant to guarantee that a tourist will leave the host country before the lapse of his stay as a temporary visitor,” the BI chief explained.
David said he has instructed immigration officers and their supervisors in the different ports of entry to strictly implement the rule on arriving foreign tourists.
He said those who do not have return tickets will be excluded and sent back to their port of origin.
Atty. Ma. Antonette Mangrobang, BI spokesperson and acting intelligence chief, explained that under Sec. 29 of the immigration act, aliens who arrived as tourists but do not have valid return or onward tickets shall be automatically excluded.
Mangrobang, however, stressed that Balikbayans, who are also considered tourists but are admitted for one year, are exempted from the rule in deference to the fact that they are former citizens of the Philippines .