MANILA, Mar 23 (Mabuhay) — The Philippines has approved the Covid-19 vaccination certificates of three more countries — Bulgaria, Iran and Panama, Malacañang said Wednesday.

Under Resolution No. 164-E, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases approved the acceptance and recognition of the national Covid-19 vaccination certificates of the three countries “for purposes of arrival quarantine protocols, as well as for interzonal/intrazonal movement.”

“This is in addition to other countries/territories/jurisdictions whose proofs of vaccination the IATF has already approved for recognition in the Philippines,” the IATF resolution read.

This is without prejudice to such other proofs of vaccination approved by the IATF for all inbound travelers.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Quarantine, the Department of Transportation – One-Stop-Shop and the Bureau of Immigration were directed to recognize only the proofs of vaccination thus approved by the IATF.

To date, the Philippines recognizes the vaccination certificates of 72 countries, territories, and jurisdictions.

These include Albania, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan and Kuwait.

The Philippines also honors the vaccination certificates of Macau, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Monaco, Myanmar, New Zealand, Nepal, Oman, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Samoa, Singapore, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Syria, Thailand, The Netherlands, Timor-Leste, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay and Vietnam.

After nearly two years of border closure due to the pandemic, the government allowed foreigners from visa-free countries to enter the country for business and leisure purposes on February 10.

The Bureau of Immigration recorded a 40 percent increase in foreign arrivals since lifting the travel ban. (MNS)

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