China –
PH considers overhauling of visa-on-arrival policy for Chinese travelers

Logistical considerations are among the factors being taken up by the Philippine government over the proposal on whether to refine or scrap outright the visa upon arrival (VUA) policy for Chinese travelers, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).

“China is a very big country. There are many people who come from remote provinces of China, so the question is do we have enough consular offices to handle. If the DFA says we can do that, we have been doing that before, well and good, no problem with us, we will consider reviewing the mechanism of visa upon arrival with the coordination of Bureau of Immigration and DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs),” Guevarra said.

Justice Undersecretary Mark Perete, meanwhile, said any refinement of the VUA, if adopted, would include safeguards to prevent abuse.

“Definitely the requirements on who may be able to avail visa upon arrival would have to be reviewed as well if the option is to refine the system to avoid abuses,” he explained.

Perete also said the final decision on whether to scrap the VUA policy will come after balancing a number of concerns.

“At the moment, the informal proposal ng BI is to refine the system, but the proposal came before (DFA) secretary (Teodoro) Locsin came up with the proposal to scrap it, we will have to see, we will have to balance the differing interests, and differing demands from the sectors. The visas upon arrival were the demand of the Department of Tourism before, so probably, its now put in place,” Perete added.

Guevarra said they will also consider the issue of security raised by National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, among others.

“Meron ding (There is also a) concern on undocumented Chinese nationals are coming over, or documented but doing something else, so that is something we should also take into account,” he said.

The DOJ chief said one of the concerns of the BI is that the usual three-month visa, which is renewable for another three months, is being abused by foreigners who then go to work without acquiring the required work permits. (Benjamin Pulta, PNA)

China slams UN, defends Duterte

China has defended President Rodrigo Duterte against critics questioning his controversial anti-illegal drug campaign.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry showed in a statement its support for the President, stressing that the international community, particularly the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, has to “respect the sovereignty of the Philippines and the will of its people, view the outcomes of the Philippines’ fight against drug and terrorism in a comprehensive, unbiased and objective way, and support its efforts to move forward its human rights cause in light of its national conditions.”

This came after UN high commissioner for human rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein’s remarks that Duterte might need to undergo a psychiatric examination following the latter’s pronouncement to consider UN special rapporteur Agnes Callamard as a “terrorist.”

For this, the China urged the organization to “fulfill its duties within the framework set out by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.”

It further expressed admiration for the President, noting Duterte has delivered “positive efforts since assuming office to combat drug-related crimes as well as terrorism, develop the national economy, and improve people’s livelihood, which have effectively protected and promoted the Philippine people’s fundamental rights to security and development.”

“The achievements made by the Philippine government led by President Duterte on these fronts have won great approval and extensive support among the Philippine people,” it added.