Movement – Filipino nationals  

Non-essential travel for Filipinos is now allowed in areas under general community quarantine. 

For the period from 6th to 20th of August 2021, Metro Manila and provinces, including Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal, will be placed into Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) while the rest of the country remains under General Community Quarantine (GCQ).

Limited modes of transport are allowed within GCQ areas. Businesses who wish to operate in quarantined communities are encouraged to organize shuttle services for their employees. For shuttle services using private vehicles, the driver only needs to display the company ID when entering or exiting checkpoints.

Passage will also be permitted to those workers in informal sectors who are engaged in essential activities, provided they display either ID or proof of transaction (e.g. receipt from a supplier).

Local Government Units (LGUs) can also assist in transporting persons or workers who have been stranded, displaced or dismissed from work because of factors related to quarantine. 

If you need help with anything related to movement of workers across quarantined areas, get in touch You can talk to a dedicated BOI Investments Specialist by booking an appointment with us today. 

Movement – foreign nationals

Travel to the Philippines is currently allowed for foreign nationals holding indefinite visas or who are family of Filipino nationals by affinity.

However, in exceptional circumstances, those foreign nationals with valid and existing special visas and wish to visit the country are now allowed to enter starting 1st of November 2020.

Upon arrival, foreign nationals should present the following:

A. Valid and existing special visas including:

  • The Special Investor’s Resident Visa (SIRV). SIRV entitles the holder to reside in the Philippines for an indefinite period as long as the required qualifications and investments are maintained.

B. Pre-booked accredited quarantine facility

C. Pre-booked Covid-19 testing center

D. Subject to the maximum capacity of inbound passengers as set by the government

For more information or assistance, you can visit Bureau of Immigration’s Facebook page or you can talk to a dedicated BOI Investments Specialist today for more information by booking an appointment with us.  

Travel ban endorsement  for businesses

Starting 16 August 2021, companies requesting for travel ban exemption (TBE) endorsement of Foreign Nationals (FNs) whose purpose of travel is for employment need to lodge applications for 9(g) and 47(a)(2) visas with the Bureau of Immigration (BI) and Department of Justice (DOJ) respectively. This is pursuant to the IATF Resolution 131-A that all FNs who will be entering the Philippines for (a) long-term employment (more than six months) with a Philippine-based employer, and (b) employment in connection with foreign-funded government projects, such as those in transportation and infrastructure, must apply for appropriate visas.

For the issuance of 9(g) visas, the Philippine-based employer shall apply for Alien Employment Permit (AEP) or Certificate of Exemption/Exclusion (COE), as the case may be, with the Department of Labor and Employment, through its regional offices. Once the AEP or COE is granted, the Philippine-based employer may already apply for issuance of visa under Section 9(g) of the Philippine Immigration Act, as amended, before the Bureau of Immigration (BI). 

The BI  will communicate approved applications to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), through the Office of Consular Affairs, for onward transmittal to Foreign Service Posts (FSPs), which will issue 9(g) visa ( valid for 90 days from date of issuance ) to concerned foreign national/s abroad.

For the issuance of 47(a)(2) visas, the Philippine-based employer shall apply for issuance of special non-immigrant visa under Section 47(a)(2) of the Philippine Immigration Act, as amended, with the Department of Justice, through its Legal Staff. The DOJ shall convey the approved applications to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), through the Office of Consular Affairs, for onward transmittal to Foreign Service Posts (FSPs). 

Foreign nationals who are not eligible for 9(g) and 47(a)(2) visas and are not covered in the travel ban exemption to the Philippines may be granted travel exemption to the country on a case-by-case basis on strict conditions. The requesting company must either belong to the manufacturing or exporting sector or be involved in the trading and retail of essential goods. Travel must be deemed essential and critical to business operations.

Decisions on exemptions are made by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). The DTI-BOI can provide endorsements of companies wishing for their foreign-national workers to travel to the Philippines on essential business if the purpose meets the aforementioned criteria. The company must be in either the manufacturing or exporting sector, or be involved in the trading and retail of essential goods or registered with the BOI. However, endorsement from DTI-BOI does not guarantee approval from the DFA and/or entry to the Philippines by BI. 

Requesting companies should submit a letter request detailing the company’s operations, reason for entry, and the list of foreign nationals to be requested for travel ban exemption and addressed to:

HON. RAMON M. LOPEZ 

Secretary, Department of Trade and Industry

ATTN: CEFERINO S. RODOLFO 

DTI Undersecretary and BOI Managing Head

Download the updated forms through this link: https://bit.ly/3AXjc7g and submit the requirements via email  to dti.travelexemption2@boi.gov.ph. Other supporting documents may be requested by the evaluator for verification purposes. 

Upon endorsement, processing and approval at the DFA takes about 20 working days, provided that the reason for travel ban exemption is justifiable and the documents are complete.

Foreign nationals are reminded NOT to finalize travel itineraries until after receipt of entry exemption documents and visas from the DFA. The DTI-BOI will not be liable for any missed flights due to proximity of intended travel date.

Any foreign national entering the Philippines is required to show pre-book quarantine and testing facilities upon entry.

To learn more on this advisory click here or book an appointment with one of BOI’s Investment Specialist for further assistance.

Social Amelioration Program (SAP)

The government is providing unemployment or involuntary separation assistance from 5,000 to 8,000 for displaced workers due to Covid-19 pandemic. Probationary, seasonal, contractual and casual workers under private health firms, creatives industries, construction, public transportation, trade industries, cooperatives and other industries identified by Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) may apply.

Tax exemptions for frontline healthcare workers

Under the Bayanihan 2, special risk allowances, actual hazard duty pay for frontline healthcare workers, and compensation to health workers who have contracted Covid-19 in the line of duty are exempted from tax.

Scholarship programs for displaced workers

The Technical Educational Skills Development Authority (TESDA) offers various scholarship programs for displaced Filipino workers. These programs aim to help you navigate the job market, especially in-demand jobs post-COVID, under the “new normal.” Interested? You may apply here.

Workplace guidance

Detailed guidance on how to reduce the risk of Covid-19 infection in the workplace can be found in our Business Continuity Plan. Among other items, this plan covers:

  • Personal hygiene, including on entry and exit from the building
  • Protocols around the organisation of meetings
  • Protocol on medical action in the case of suspected Covid-19 infection

Workplace posters on promoting hygiene – which you can print off and use around your business – are available here.

If you need any further help related to information on this page, please let us know. You can talk to a dedicated BOI Investments Specialist today by booking an appointment with us.