THE PHILIPPINES could start relaxing border restrictions before the end of the year given the ongoing vaccine rollout against coronavirus, an immigration official said on Thursday.

Bureau of Immigration’s port operations chief Carlos B. Capulong, in a statement, said more international flights may be allowed to resume in the next few months.

“We are anticipating new batches of immigration officers to be deployed to our airports to ensure we have the adequate personnel to cope with this anticipated increase in the volume of international passengers,” he said.

The country closed its borders on March 18, 2020, but has since lifted some restrictions for overseas Filipinos and certain visa type holders.

More recently, the Philippines banned the entry of passengers from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates, including those who have been in any of these countries within 14 days before their arrival in the Philippines until May 31.

Quarantine and testing requirements remain in effect for arriving passengers. — Bianca Angelica D. Añago