By Ferdinand Patinio

(File photo)

MANILA – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Tuesday said it has logged over 161,000 arrivals in the country during the Christmas weekend.

In a news release, Immigration Commissioner Norman Tansingco said a total of 161,664 passengers arrived in the country from Dec. 23 to 25.

Of the number, nearly 81 percent of the passengers arrived via the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

“International travel is not just on a rebound. Figures show that the number of travelers is almost surpassing pre-pandemic numbers. It’s a cause for celebration for the tourism and international travel sectors,” the BI chief added.

Tansingco also reported that 130,497 passengers departed the country in the same period.

Before the coronavirus pandemic, the BI saw an average of 55,000 daily arrivals during December.

It also recorded an average of 47,000 departures in December 2019.

The BI has earlier implemented measures to ensure efficient processing of arriving and departing passengers during the peak season.

It has also urged arriving Filipinos to use the e-gates for faster immigration clearance and reminded passengers to register via the e-travel portal at etravel.gov.ph at least 72 hours before arrival or departure. (PNA)