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DFA chief wants visa-on-arrival privilege for foreigners removed

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Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. recently recommended the removal of visa upon arrival privileges for foreigners.

Locsin’s proposal came following the remarks of National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. that the influx of undocumented foreigners to Manila pose a possible security threat to the country.

“We need to put an end to visas upon arrival; all visas should be issued by consular offices after vetting,” Locsin said on his official Twitter account, in reaction to the headline carrying Esperon’s remarks.

“We must take extra care in outsourcing any part of the visa application process, picking only the most reputable worldwide,” Locsin added.

In an earlier news forum, Esperon said he remains on the “cautious side” when looking at the issue of the volume of foreigners in the country, particularly when they are undocumented and when their intent is not clear.

“On the matter of Chinese coming in, are we surprised about that? Of course,” Esperon said.

“What’s really happening is that there are businesses, offshore gaming, coming into the Philippines– these are regulated by the PAGCOR (Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation). But there are illegal players, illegal operators, that’s our problem because some of these Chinese could come in as tourists and they could end up for the period that they are allowed here to be workers,” he added in Filipino.

Meanwhile, he dismissed as “wild imagination” the speculation that Chinese nationals coming in are part of the Chinese army. (Joyce Ann L. Rocamora, PNA)

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