MANILA, October 17, 2012—Filipinos intending to attend the World Youth Day (WYD) next year do not need to secure visa to enter Brazil but they have to comply with the vaccination requirements of the South American country.
While Filipinos are among the nationals of countries exempted from Brazil’s visa requirements, they are however not exempted from getting yellow fever vaccine as a prerequisite to their entry to the host country of WYD 2013.
This was among the information the National Secretariat for Youth Apostolate (NSYA) yesterday told leaders of groups that signified intention to join the official WYD delegation of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Youth (ECY), named ECY-Philippines delegation.
In an orientation with youth leaders of different parishes, dioceses, schools and organizations, the NSYA said the visa exemption is due to a mutual agreement between the governments of the Philippines and Brazil. But the vaccination requirement has no exemption regardless of nationality because of yellow fever’s prevalence in South America.
Maria Victoria Tacderas, senior staff of NSYA, said Filipino WYD pilgrims who will be accepted to be members of the ECY-Philippines delegation should get their yellow fever vaccine on or before June 15, 2013, or a month before the WYD Missionary Week starts on July 17. The WYD week will be held in Rio de Janeiro from July 23 to 28.
The NSYA also reminded delegates to exercise foresight concerning their travel plans. Tacderas reminded pilgrims to check the validity of their passports ahead of their WYD pilgrimage.
“If your passports will no longer be valid six months after the WYD, you have to get a new one this early,” she said, adding that the number of the new passport will be the one supplied to the individual pilgrim’s application form.
The NSYA, being the implementing arm of the CBCP ECY, is now accepting individual registration of pilgrims. The group registration ended last October 5, with at least 20 groups from different parishes, dioceses, schools and organizations nationwide showing interest. Individual pilgrim registration is due on January 31.
The NSYA will serve as the ECY-Philippines delegation secretariat that will accompany pilgrims during the Missionary Week and WYD week. The delegation will be headed by ECY executive secretary Fr. Conegundo Garganta.
During the orientation, the staff of NSYA discussed basic information about the upcoming WYD in Brazil and the application procedures for those joining the ECY-Philippines delegation, which is considered by WYD organizers in Vatican City and Brazil as the official country delegation.
While WYD is generally open to all young Catholics, the NSYA said those aged 14 years and above only are qualified to join the ECY-Philippines delegation. Minors aged 14 to 18 must be accompanied by a chaperon or legal guardian throughout their travel.
The ECY earlier said transportation from Manila to Rio de Janeiro and vice versa is estimated to cost US$ 2,300 to $2,500 but the NSYA reported that the ECY-Philippines delegation’s official travel coordinator was able to get a minimum rate of US$2,200 per pilgrim.
But NSYA junior staff Stephen Borja reminded pilgrims that early flight booking is necessary to avail of the lowest ticket price.
“Just like in previous WYDs, we remind our delegates that early submission of your requirements will mean early release of your application results, which will be necessary for your flight booking requirements. This rate will be available to early birds,” he added.
During the question and answer portion of the orientation, a religious group leader asked what weather will welcome WYD delegates in Brazil.
Borja said it will be winter in Brazil by July but there will be no snow for the duration of the WYD due to the country’s tropical climate.
“The winter in Brazil is not as intensely cold as what we experienced in Australia in 2008. The atmosphere will be similar to an air-conditioned room so we are only advised to bring jackets for the duration of the WYD,” he added.
Other details about the WYD 2013 and the ECY-Philippines delegation are discussed in a primer earlier issued by ECY. Further inquiries can be coursed through firstname.lastname@example.org. (YouthPinoy)
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