MANILA, Mar 24 (Mabuhay) — A total of 133,557 foreigners have complied with their annual report at the Bureau of Immigration (BI).

Citing the latest data as of Wednesday, BI alien registration chief Jose Carlitos Licas said the foreigners who showed up at the BI for the annual report from January 1 to March 1 are mostly Chinese nationals at 63,659.

The figure also includes Indians (17,728), Americans (7,780), Taiwanese (6,653), South Koreans (4,991), Vietnamese (4,464), Japanese (3,725), Indonesians (2,929), British (2,705), and Malaysians (2,103) while the remainder is composed of other nationalities.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Commissioner Jaime Morente said the implementation of the online appointment system allowed them to process the annual report and still ensure strict physical distancing in their offices.

“We believe that as we enter the new normal, the number of foreign nationals in the Philippines will once again increase,” he added.

At the same time, Licas said the number of foreigners this year was only slightly higher than the 130,148 individuals who filed their report in 2021.

He added that the low number was expected due to the surge in coronavirus cases caused by the highly transmissible Omicron variant as foreigners were required to first register and secure slots from the bureau’s online appointment system before making their report.

Foreign nationals, who are holders of immigrant and non-immigrant visa issued by the BI are mandated to make the annual report.

The yearly reporting is conducted during the first 60 calendar days of every year pursuant to the provisions of the Alien Registration Act of 1950. (MNS)

READ NEXT: Alert Level 0 doesn’t mean ‘Covid-19 has been eliminated’