BI to resume stamping on China-issued e-passports
MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Wednesday announced that it will resume the affixing of arrival and departure stamps on China-issued e-passports.
In a statement, BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said BI officers stationed in different ports will be allowed to affix such stamps adjacent to a Philippine visa on the said e-passports.
Morente added that the change in policy complies with the Department of Foreign Affairs’ (DFA) new foreign service circular, instructing Philippine consular offices to affix visas on the pages of Chinese passports.
According to the BI, the practice of stamping was stopped in 2012 after China issued a new e-passport at that time, bearing the nine-dash line that covers the disputed islands in the West Philippine Sea as being part of China.
The DFA, during that time, also previously ordered to place the visas of visiting Chinese nationals on a separate sheet of paper.
DFA Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. then proposed to stamp the visas on the passports of Chinese nationals who will enter the country, which was eventually approved by President Rodrigo Duterte.
Morente said the BI supports the DFA’s latest order, adding that the previous practice of stamping on a separate sheet was proven to be “problematic.”
“In the past, we have also expressed security concerns over the old practice because sheets of papers can easily be lost,” Morente said. /muf
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