Almost 146K travelers leave PH for holiday season: BI

By Ferdinand Patinio

December 28, 2021, 3:10 pm

<p><em>(File photo)</em></p>

(File photo)

MANILA – Close to 146,000 travelers departed the Philippines during the holiday season, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) reported Tuesday.

Citing the BI's latest data, Commissioner Jaime Morente said 145,900 passengers left the country this December, 117,795 of whom are Filipinos.

The departures also include Americans with 7,776, Indians with 2,908, Chinese with 2,509, and the Japanese with 2,190.

During Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, the BI processed only around 7,000 departing travelers, almost double from last year's figure at 3,854.

“The usual busy Christmas eve and Christmas day still had a low number of travelers. But we’re happy to be seeing better figures than last year,” Morente said in a statement.

He added that the number of international travelers remains low despite the holiday season.

“By the end of the year, we’re expecting the numbers to rise a little, perhaps around 20 to 50 thousand more passengers, but we’re still not seeing pre-pandemic figures,” the BI chief said.

Morente attributed this to the effect of worldwide travel restrictions and quarantine requirements, many of which are due to the Omicron variant.

Despite the low number of travelers, the BI is hoping that the international travel sector will gradually recover from the impact of the pandemic. (PNA)