THE BUREAU of Immigration said that it saw a slight uptick in passenger traffic during the Holy Week break.
In a statement dated Apr. 17 but posted on the BI Facebook page on Monday, Immigration Port Operations Division Chief Carlos B. Capulong reported a slight increase in arriving passengers during Good Friday and Black Saturday.
“There were a total of 13,783 passengers who arrived on Friday, while a total of 15,234 arrived on Saturday,” he said. “There was a slight rise from the usual 11-12k average arrivals we’ve seen in the past few days.”
Data from BI show that passenger arrivals at the airport has been averaging at 13,000 to 15,000 daily in April, up from 6,000 to 9,000 in March.
Mr. Capulong added that immigration officers processed an average of around 12,000 departing passengers last week.
The bureau said its operations during the Holy week went smoothly.
Immigration Chief Jaime H. Morente earlier placed immigration officers on high alert due to the expected increase in travelers during the past Holy Week.
Last week, BI also removed the arrival card requirement for returning Filipinos to simplify processing.
Mr. Capulong said that arrival or disembarkation cards were no longer needed due to the recent decrease in coronavirus cases in the country.
The Department of Tourism (DoT) reported that more than 186,000 foreign tourists have arrived since border easing on Feb. 10 for non-visa countries, and for all countries effective April 1.
The tourism sector’s contribution in 2020 dropped to 5.4% from 12.8% the previous year due to the global pandemic.
DoT said that over a million workers in the industry were affected by the pandemic. — John Victor D. Ordoñez