Philippines – COVID-19: Quarantine Extension and Exceptions on Travel Restrictions
Philippines–Quarantine Extended, Travel Exceptions
In the Philippines, the National Capital Region and the cities of Batangas, Tacloban, Bacolod, Iligan, and Iloilo shall remain under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) from 1 October until 31 October 2020. Moreover, a recommendation letter may be issued to allow a foreign national to enter the country under exceptional cases such as an endorsement from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) or the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA).
The General Community Quarantine (GCQ) will continue to be enforced in the National Capital Region and other cities and provinces in the Philippines while certain exemptions from international travel restrictions may be available for foreign nationals who seek to enter the Philippines for essential and emergency reasons.1
WHY THIS MATTERS
The extension of the quarantine measures and travel restrictions will continue to limit the movement of international employees assigned in the Philippines.2 Employers should continue looking into the effects of this extension on the compliance requirements of their employees in relation to their tax, immigration, and social security obligations.
On the other hand, in order to help with planning, employers may consider securing a recommendation letter for their employees for purposes of obtaining an exemption from the travel restriction.
General Community Quarantine (GCQ) Extension
The National Capital Region and the cities of Batangas, Tacloban, Bacolod, Iligan, and Iloilo shall remain under GCQ from 1 October until 31 October 2020.
Under GCQ, strict home quarantine shall be observed in all households and movement shall be limited to accessing essential goods and services and to work in permitted offices or select establishments. Government offices shall operate under a limited workforce and limited public transportation will be allowed.
All domestic flights to and from Metro Manila are allowed under GCQ. International travel restrictions shall remain except for those cases mentioned in the advisories3 of the Bureau of Immigration.
Exemption on Inbound Travel Restrictions
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) may issue a recommendation letter to allow a foreign national to enter the country under exceptional cases such as an endorsement from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) or the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA).
Based on Memorandum Circular No. 2020-00354 issued by PEZA, a letter request to be exempted from the travel ban may be submitted by the PEZA entity. According tot eh Memorandum Circular, the following documents should be attached to the letter request:
a. “Bio” page of the passport of the foreign national;
b. Department of Justice Indorsement, as applicable;
c. Copy of ticket, if available.
Employers that are not PEZA-registered enterprises may submit their requests to the DTI.
1 For this and other relevant measures taken by the Philippines government to combat the spread of COVID-19, see this webpage of the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines.
* Please note that KPMG LLP (U.S.) does not provide any immigration services. However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.
The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in the Philippines.
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