Airlines face fines for tourists without return tickets

Posted at 07/22/2012 3:36 PM

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) said it will begin to fine airlines that will allow any foreign tourist flying to the Philippines without a return ticket.

In a statement, Immigration Commissioner Ricardo David Jr. said he already gave the BI airport operations division the order.

David said the airlines should be responsible in making sure that its passengers who are traveling as tourists have return tickets, adding that this is an international rule that is implemented in most countries.

“This rule is meant to guarantee that a tourist will leave the host country before the lapse of his stay as a temporary visitor," David said.

David said tourists who do not have have return tickets will be excluded and sent back to their port of origin.

Meanwhile, BI spokesperson and acting intelligence chief Ma. Antonette Mangrobang explained that under section 29 of the Immigration Act, “aliens who arrived as tourists but do not have valid return or onward tickets shall be automatically excluded.”

Mangrobang, however, clarified that “balikbayans,” who are also considered tourists, are exempted from the rule since they are former citizens of the Philippines.