overseas Filipinos

GUIDELINES: OFWs traveling to PH with their families

Michelle Abad
GUIDELINES: OFWs traveling to PH with their families

HOME. The Philippine government repatriates hundreds of distressed overseas Filipinos from Saudi Arabia on June 25, 2021.

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OFWs and their families must secure a certification from the overseas labor office in their country of origin. Rules on countries banned by the Philippines still apply, unless the returning Filipinos are on repatriation flights.

Are you an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) looking to travel to the Philippines together with your family?

The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) approved on Monday, July 26, new guidelines for inbound travel, with special guidelines for the OFWs and their families.

Here’s what you need to know:

Certifications

OFWs and their spouses, parents, or children traveling with them must present a certification from the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in their country of origin.

Additionally, Filipinos and foreigners fully vaccinated abroad must present a vaccination certificate issued by health authorities of the place where you were vaccinated. This certificate must be verified or confirmed by Philippine authorities as valid or authentic.

If you’ve been vaccinated previously in the Philippines, you must show any of the following:

  • Original local government unit-issued vaccination cards
  • LGU-issued vaccine certificates, provided this can be verified or confirmed by border control authorities
  • Bureau of Quarantine-issued international certificate of vaccination or prophylaxis (ICV)

You and your family may still be able to enter the Philippines without complete vaccination, but this will affect how long you will need to quarantine.

Considering your port of origin

Travelers from countries banned by the Philippines will not be allowed to enter. OFWs and their families can be exempted if they are on repatriation or special commercial flights. As of July 23, the Philippines has banned travel from the following countries:

  • Indonesia
  • Thailand
  • Malaysia
  • India
  • Bangladesh
  • Nepal
  • Sri Lanka
  • Oman
  • United Arab Emirates

If your port of origin is not part of the list of banned countries, you’ll be allowed to enter. However, your origin country will still determine your quarantine period once you arrive. 

Fully vaccinated travelers from “green list” countries will enjoy shorter quarantine. These are the countries included in the Philippines’ green list, as of July 16:

  • Albania
  • American Samoa
  • Anguilla
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Barbados
  • Benin
  • Bermuda
  • The British Virgin Islands
  • Brunei
  • Burkina Faso
  • Cayman Islands
  • Chad
  • China
  • Comoros
  • Cote d’ Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
  • Curacao
  • Dominica
  • Eswatini
  • Falkland Islands
  • French Polynesia
  • Gabon
  • The Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Greenland
  • Grenada
  • Hong Kong (Special Administrative Region of China)
  • Iceland
  • Isle of Man
  • Israel
  • Laos
  • Liechtenstein
  • Mali
  • Malta
  • Marshall Islands
  • Mauritius
  • Federated States of Micronesia
  • Montserrat
  • New Caledonia
  • New Zealand
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • North Macedonia
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Palau
  • Romania
  • Saba (Special Municipality of the Kingdom of Netherlands)
  • Saint Barthelemy
  • Saint Pierre and Miquelon
  • Singapore
  • Sint Eustatius
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan
  • Togo
  • Turks and Caicos Islands (UK)
  • Vietnam

If you stayed exclusively in a green list country for 14 days prior to your arrival in the Philippines, your family is qualified for the “green lanes.” You’ll be required to quarantine in a facility for seven days. This quarantine is required even if you test negative for COVID-19 in a reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test, which will be administered on the fifth day.

You should also be fully vaccinated, either in the Philippines or abroad, to be qualified for green lanes.

If your port of origin is not on the green list, or you did not stay in a green list country exclusively for two weeks, you’ll still be allowed to enter the Philippines – but you’ll be subject to a 14-day quarantine and an RT-PCR test on the seventh day. 

This also applies to those who are unvaccinated. – Rappler.com

Michelle Abad

Michelle Abad is a researcher-writer at Rappler. Possessing the heart and soul of a feminist, she is working on specializing in women's issues in Newsbreak, Rappler's investigative arm.