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BI eases rules for humanitarian workers assisting ‘Yolanda’ victims

Marine stands on top of boxes containing tent material from U.S. relief organisation USAid, as he and Philippine soldiers prepare the load to be deployed by airlift by U.S. military to victims of super typhoon Haiyan, at Manila airport November 13, 2013. Philippine officials have been overwhelmed by Haiyan, one of the strongest typhoons on record, which tore through the central Philippines on Friday and flattened Tacloban, coastal capital of Leyte province where officials had feared 10,000 people died, many drowning in a tsunami-like wall of seawater.  (MNS photo)

Marine stands on top of boxes containing tent material from U.S. relief organisation USAid, as he and Philippine soldiers prepare the load to be deployed by airlift by U.S. military to victims of super typhoon Haiyan, at Manila airport November 13, 2013. Philippine officials have been overwhelmed by Haiyan, one of the strongest typhoons on record, which tore through the central Philippines on Friday and flattened Tacloban, coastal capital of Leyte province where officials had feared 10,000 people died, many drowning in a tsunami-like wall of seawater. (MNS photo)

MANILA  (Mabuhay) – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has relaxed immigration rules for all foreign humanitarian workers and relief volunteers who will provide assistance to the survivors of super typhoon “Yolanda.”

Humanitarian workers should only present the following upon entering the country:

  • Official endorsements from their respective governments, embassies or international organizations;
  • Notice from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) or from any Philippine Foreign Service Post regarding their arrival; and
  • Return ticket.

The BI will not also impose upon the relief workers the required six months validity of the passports.

On the other hand, the DFA also waived visas of the following:

  • Holders of the United Nations (UN) Laissez Passer such as officials, members and affiliates of UN organs like the UN Development Program (UNDP), UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) and the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR);
  • Holders of diplomatic, official, service or regular passports who are officials, members, affiliates of international organizations who are from countries whose nationals require entry visas to the Philippines.

The DFA’s Office of the Consular Affairs (OCA) will provide the BI an advance copy of the names and details of the relief workers arriving in the Philippines.

Among the humanitarian workers who arrived in the country are from the Japanese Medical Team, UNOCHA and UNICEF Coordinator Sandra Lattouf.  (MNS)

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