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Long queues of OFWs from UAE, other countries at Philippine airports raise questions about eArrival card effectivity

Long queues of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from the UAE, Saudi Arabia and other countries at Philippine airports have raised questions about the effectivity of a new eArrival card required from travelers.

The House of Representatives is reportedly mulling a congressional inquiry into the reported long queues of arriving travelers at airports across the Philippines.

Saudi Arabia tops the list of countries with the most number of OFWs, followed by the UAE, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.

House transportation committee chairman Romeo Acop pointed out that the eArrival card, which replaced the One Health Pass, should have made the arrival of OFWs and returning Filipinos more convenient.

“Why is this happening? Shouldn’t the eArrival card make it much easier for passengers? Why are the lines still long and the process more difficult for returning Filipinos?” Acop said in Filipino.

Acop said the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) and the Department of Health – Bureau of Quarantine (DOH-BOQ) should find out the cause of the problem immediately.

“MIAA and DOH-BOQ should comprehensively review its implementation and resolve the problems. Otherwise, we will be forced to conduct a probe on this,” Acop said.

The official cited complaints from arriving Filipino passengers stuck in long queues at airports, and noted that his colleagues “saw the long lines at the airports with their own eyes”.

He said returning OFWs should be given “VIP treatment” when they arrive in the Philippines, and worried that the upcoming holidays could see the airport passenger queues worsening.

Prior to the eArrival card, travelers were required to register for the One Health Pass and an electronic Health Declaration Checklist in order to enter the Philippines.

The eArrival card was meant to make it easier and faster for travelers to register important details prior to their travel, with only less than 10 fields to fill up. ICA/Expat Media


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