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The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Friday said it has processed and cleared more than 16,000 Filipino and foreign seafarers from cruise ships that arrived and anchored at the Manila Bay during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Of the 16,287 seafarers cleared by immigration boarding inspectors, 11,189 were Filipinos and 5,098 were foreigners, the BI said in a statement.

They disembarked from 42 vessels between April 16 to June 15 after undergoing quarantine and getting tested for COVID-19 aboard their ships, the bureau said.

Around 2,300 seafarers are still quarantined in their vessels while awaiting repatriation.

The BI said repatriated Filipino seafarers are "immediately" transported to their places of residence with the help of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration.

On the other hand, foreign seafarers are allowed to disembark only once they present a confirmed outbound plane ticket to their home country. Immigration personnel escort them to the airport, the BI said.

The bureau also announced that 122 Sri Lankan seafarers were repatriated at the request of their embassy in Manila last June 11.

Foreign seafarers with Filipino spouses are allowed to disembark and join their families if they submit a letter-request, marriage certificate, a photocopy of the passport of their spouse, a negative swab test result for COVID-19, and an endorsement from the Department of Foreign Affairs, the BI said.?— Nicole-Anne C/ Lagrimas/RSJ, GMA News

This article 16k Pinoy, foreign seafarers cleared at Manila port — BI was originally published in GMA News Online.

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