DFA Secretary wants to end visa upon arrival policy

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr wants to remove the visas-upon-arrival privilege for foreigners, amid claims that the surge of Chinese tourists might be a security threat, local media reports.

“We need to put an end to visas upon arrival; all visas should be issued by consular offices after vetting,” said Locsin over Twitter.

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

In 2017, the Bureau of Immigration starting issuing visas to Chinese nationals upon arrival to the Philippines in a bid to attract more tourists from China. 

While the move has helped to spur visitation, there have also been concerns of undocumented Chinese nationals illegally working, evading taxes and taking jobs from local Filipinos. 

Earlier this year, the Department of Finance (DOF) found at least 100,000 foreigners working in the country without the necessary permits. 

The Philippines government is currently cracking down on illegal Chinese workers, mainly in the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) sector.