By Jun Ramirez
The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has barred 133 foreign nationals from entering the country last year for being discourteous and disrespectful to immigration officers.
In a report to Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente, BI port operations chief Grifton Medina said the number was slightly higher than the 129 excluded in 2017.
Medina advised foreigners visiting the country not to be discourteous and avoid using foul language when talking to immigration officers they meet in the ports of entry.
“The entry and stay of foreigners in the country is only a privilege, not a right. Aliens are not allowed to verbally abuse or disrespect our immigration officers,” Medina said.
Statistics show that 37 Chinese nationals topped the list, followed by 25 Americans, and 23 Koreans.
They were also placed in immigration blacklist and banned from re-entering the country.
According to BI spokesperson Dana Sandoval, the BI has been strictly implementing a policy to disallow the entry of foreigners who exhibit arrogance or make offensive utterances against immigration officers who are the symbol of Philippine authority.
She said such policy is grounded under a memorandum order issued by then BI chief Andrea Domingo that imposed exclusion for disrespectful foreign passenger.
“While we have been instructed to observe maximum tolerance, arrogant and discourteous foreigners are sent back and blacklisted.” Ms. Sandoval added.