DOT open to ''review and re-evaluate'' Visa Upon Arrival
The Department of Tourism ( DOT) said they are open to ''review and re-evaluate'' issuing Visa Upon Arrival (VUA) to foreign visitors of certain nationalities following concerns over the influx of Chinese tourists in the country.
In a statement released on Friday, DOT said they agree that prime importance should be placed on security and safety of guests and locals.
"The Department of Tourism (DOT) is open to review and re-evaluate the issuance of Visa Upon Arrival (VUA) in the country to foreign visitors of certain nationalities with both the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Bureau of Immigration (BI), the duly designated government agencies with respect to visa issuance," it said.
In the case of Chinese nationals, the agency clarified that VUA is only granted to Chinese tourists who passed screening of tour operators accredited by the DOT and the BI.
"Said visitors will only be allowed entry after submission of all pertinent documents subject to the review and approval of the BI," it said.
According to the Republic Act 9593 or the Tourism Act of 2009, the DOT’s mandate is to be the primary government agency responsible for planning, programming, coordinating, implementing and regulating the development and promotion of the Philippines’ tourism industry.
The DOT said from January to May, a total of 3,489,270 tourists visited the Philippines.
DOT said Chinese arrivals increased 30.96 percent to 733,769 arrivals.
There are roughly 130,000 Chinese Pogo ( Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator) workers in around 50 licensed gaming firms operating in the country. Ella Dionisio/DMS