PH map with its claimed territory in South China Sea, to be stamped soon on Chinese visitors' passports - Palace
President Rodrigo Duterte has approved a proposal to stamp the Philippine visa on Chinese nationals' passports, Malacanang said on Tuesday.
This means, the government would be doing away with the practice that the Aquino administration started to implement in 2012, which was stamping the visa on a separate sheet of paper to protest China's move of including in its e-passport the nine-dash line map, which covers the Philippine claimed territory in the South China Sea.
The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration, in a ruling in July 2016, invalidated China's historic and sovereign claim in almost the entire South China Sea through its nine-dash line.
"Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin proposed to stamp the Philippine visa on passports of Chinese nationals who wish to enter the country instead of the practice adapted before of placing it on a piece of paper. This was approved by the President," Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
In a press briefing, Panelo said the Philippine map with "all its territories, including the disputed ones," would be the design of the stamp to be used on the Chinese visitors' passports.
He said the new design could be implemented within the year and this could also expand to other nationals visiting the Philippines.
Panelo, also the chief presidential legal counsel, said Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra vowed his office would closely monitor the stay of Chinese tourists in the country.
The DOJ would also implement immigration measures should they exceed their allowable stay in the country, he added.
National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. earlier raised concern on the influx of Chinese nationals in the country.
He had said some entered as tourists and later ended up working in the country. Celerina Monte/DMS