MANILA - The Department of Tourism (DOT) on Thursday said not all Chinese nationals are issued visas upon their arrival in the Philippines.
This, amid the proposal to end the practice of issuing visas to Chinese nationals upon their arrival in the country.
"In the case of Chinese nationals, the agency wishes to clarify that the visa upon arrival (VUA) is only granted to Chinese tourists who have passed the screening of tour operators accredited by both the DOT and the BI (Bureau of Immigration)," the DOT said in a statement.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. has proposed putting a stop to the practice, saying visiting Chinese nationals should undergo vetting before being issued a visa.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo expressed support for the proposal, saying visiting Chinese nationals should undergo vetting since Filipinos also experience difficulties in other countries that also vet.
Republic Act 9593 or the Tourism Act of 2009 defines the DOT’s mandate as the primary government agency responsible for planning, programming, coordinating, implementing, and regulating the development and promotion of the Philippines’ tourism industry.
DOT emphasized they can be expected to "continue to support measures and programs that will facilitate ease of travel to drive foreign tourist arrivals in the Philippines" but to a limit.
"We agree, however, that prime importance should be placed on security against certain foreign individuals of dubious purpose of visitation to the Philippines and lack of proper documentation regardless of their national origin," the tourism department said.
- With a report from Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News