The first Chinese passenger carrying the controversial e-passport printed with the so-called “nine-dash” map showing China’s claim over much of the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) was processed early Tuesday at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia).
The Bureau of Immigration did not release details of the Chinese national carrying the new passport. But airport sources said the bearer was part of a group of tourists that arrived on a flight from the Chinese mainland.
A picture of the new Chinese travel document circulating among Naia immigration officers showed page 24 of the e-passport showing the controversial map above a picture of the Great Wall of China.
Immigration spokesperson Ma. Antonette Mangrobang said Chinese citizens carrying the new passports will undergo regular processing and screening procedures at the country’s airports and seaports.
“There will be no special counters. All immigration counters can process the new Chinese passport. Our officers know what to do,” she said in a phone interview.
Immigration Commissioner Ricardo David has issued a memorandum instructing immigration officers to place the arrival, departure, conversion, downgrading and extension stamps on the back page of the Chinese passport holder’s visa application form issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs. The form is then to be attached to the passport.
Exempted from the special stamping rule are Chinese citizens carrying diplomatic, official and service passports. Jerome Aning