Ang See: Tougher visa rules for Chinese not right solution
System ‘ain’t broke’; just curb BI corruption, says tsinoy leader

Ang See: Tougher visa rules for Chinese not right solution

/ 05:34 AM May 18, 2024

Teresita Ang See

Teresita Ang See

Tightening visa rules for Chinese tourists will not stop the influx of undesirable visitors if immigration officers can be bribed anyway, civic leader Teresita Ang See said on Thursday.

“We already have a proper visa application process in place in our consular and embassy office abroad. That system ain’t broke,” said Ang See, a longtime anticrime crusader from the Filipino-Chinese community.


“Instead, the problem lies with our bureaucrats here at home. Bad elements and illegals can go through our front door through connections and bribes if they are determined,” she said.


The statements were in reaction to the announcement made by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) last week about the stricter tourist visa requirements being imposed specifically on Chinese applicants.

The DFA earlier said Philippine consular officers in China had encountered a high number of fraudulent visa applications believed to be from those engaged in Philippine offshore gaming operators (Pogos).

While acknowledged for their job creation and other economic contributions, Pogos have been blamed especially by some lawmakers for rising incidents of human trafficking, prostitution, kidnapping, fraud and money laundering involving their Chinese workers.

50 visa applicants

According to Ang See, the Philippine Embassy in Beijing and consulates in Shanghai, Guangzhou and Xiamen, had been strict and would process only 50 visa applicants a day due to their limited staff despite the large number of daily applicants.

Citing one of the consequences, she said there were Chinese professors who missed three conferences at the University of the Philippines and Ateneo de Manila University because their visitors’ visas were not released on time.

She also recalled the “pastillas scam” that was first exposed in a Senate inquiry in 2020, when immigration officers were found to have been accepting bribes to let Chinese arrivals skip regular entry procedures at the airport.


Last year, she added, the Department of Justice uncovered another scam in the Bureau of Immigration where foreigners blacklisted in their home countries were allowed to enter and leave the Philippines after paying bribes amounting to P150,000 each.

“The right thing to do is shut down the loopholes and corruption in our government here at home. Fix what’s broken: our own agencies have failed to stop the entry of illegal aliens and Pogo workers and stop Pogo operations all together,” she said.

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TAGS: China, visa

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