The new procedure for stamping Philippine visas on a separate visa form will apply to holders of both old and new Chinese e-passports to avoid confusion among Filipino immigration and consular officers, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Monday.
“The DFA (has) already sent a circular to our embassies and consulates worldwide to implement the new procedure on stamping Philippine visas on the visa application forms submitted by Chinese nationals who wish to visit the Philippines, effective immediately,” said DFA spokesperson and Assistant Secretary Raul Hernandez.
“This new procedure will include the old Chinese passports. It is a uniform implementation so as not to create confusion in our foreign service posts and immigration office,” he said.
The new procedure is in protest of China’s issuance of passports bearing a map of China extending its territory to disputed parts of the South China Sea, including parts being claimed by the Philippines and Vietnam.
Included in the map of China is the West Philippine Sea where the Philippines claims as part of its economic zone the Kalayaan island group within the Spratlys off Palawan and its Panatag Shoal off Zambales.
The DFA has described China’s issuance of its new passports displaying a questionable map as an “excessive declaration” of China’s maritime domain. Tarra Quismundo