The Bureau of Immigration (BI) announced that overstaying fees will be waived for foreigners affected by the suspension of operations at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport which started on Sunday due to the eruption of Taal Volcano.
“This was a natural disaster that nobody wanted to experience. Hence to ease the burden of our tourists whose flights were cancelled during the closure, we are waiving the overstaying fee for those affected,” Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said in a statement.
BI Port Operations Division chief Grifton Medina, meanwhile, said only those who overstayed because their flights were supposed to depart during the period of suspension of airport operations will be exempt from paying overstaying fines.
To be exempted from the charges, foreign nationals must present at least one of the following to airport officers: boarding pass within the affected period, outbound ticket dated January 12 or 13, 2020 or cancelled immigration departure stamp bearing the same date.
He said those foreigners whose visas have long expired are not exempt from penalties.
Several flights have been cancelled since Sunday until Monday due to volcanic ash which affected the country’s airspace and the airport’s runways.
Classes in all levels and work in government in Calabarzon, Metro Manila, and Central Luzon have likewise been suspended on Monday as ashfall from the volcano reached areas in these regions.
Taal Volcano remains under Alert Level 4 which means a hazardous eruption is possible within hours or days. (PNA)