Manila: Flying to the Philippines in time for the holidays, or outside to spend Christmas with loved ones overseas?
In preparation for an anticipated surge in international travellers, the Phiippine Bureau of Immigration (BI) issued a reminder on Saturday emphasising the mandatory registration in the one-stop electronic travel declaration system (eTravel).
The e-Travel registration mandate applies to both arriving and departing passengers, a senior official said.
Immigration Commissioner Norman Tansingco emphasised that all passengers must register on the eTravel platform. This registration is a prerequisite for immigration formalities conducted by BI officers at international airports (and seaports) for both inbound and outbound travellers in the south-east Asian nation.
Log in to the official website https://etravel.gov.ph
The new mandate aims to bolster border control services, ensuring a seamless travel experience for the public
He also urged airline companies to actively cooperate in the project, underscoring their responsibility to inform customers about the mandatory nature of registering with the eTravel system.
Arriving Filipino and foreign crew members and passengers, along with departing Filipino passengers, are obligated to register at eTravel, he told the Philippine News Agency.
Certain exemptions apply — such as foreign diplomats and their dependents, foreign dignitaries, and holders of certain diplomatic visas or passports.
The eTravel initiative, a collaboration among BI, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), the Department of Tourism (DOT), and various government agencies and stakeholders in the travel and tourism industry, aims to streamline and digitise the entry and exit process.
Tansingco said the BI plans to provide eTravel kiosks to facilitate on-the-spot registration for individuals without access to smartphones or the Internet.
eTravel replaces the traditional arrival and departure cards, reducing paper-based requirements by consolidating all necessary data on a unified platform, the official told the agency.