Palace supports DFA proposal to end ‘visa-upon-arrival’ policy
MANILA, Philippines—Malacañang supports Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr.’s proposal to put an end on visa-upon-arrival privilege for foreigners in view of the unusual influx of Chinese nationals in the country.
According to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, the Philippines should adopt other country’s policy of vetting foreigners first before they grant them visas.
“I agree with Sec. Locsin, kailangan talaga i-vet. Kasi kapag tayo ang nanghihingi ng visa nahihirapan din tayo kumuha ng visa sa iba’t-ibang bansa because they vet. Tinitignan muna nila,” Panelo said in a Palace briefing Thursday.
In 2017, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) started issuing visas to Chinese nationals on their arrival in the Philippines to draw more tourists from China.
The number of Chinese nationals in the Philippines has noticeably increased with the majority of them working for the Philippine offshore gaming operators (Pogo). But despite the economic country’s gains, there has been a mounting fear that Chinese workers are taking jobs, evading taxes and committing crimes.
National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. said he sees the influx of Chinese nationals as a “security threat,” a view which was also supported by Malacañang.
“Yes (we are) worried. Kasi nga masyadong marami, may influx na magtataka ka kung paano sila nakakapasok? So hindi lang worry sa number, may worry pa kung paano sila nakakapasok,” Panelo said. /jpv
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