Gov’t to stamp Chinese visitors’ passports with Philippine map
MANILA, Philippines — The government will soon stamp passports of visiting Chinese nationals with the map of the Philippines, including territories it is claiming in the South China Sea.
This is after President Rodrigo Duterte, during the 40th Cabinet meeting in Malacañang on Monday night, approved a new Philippine Visa design presented by Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr.
“Mayroong mapa ng Pilipinas na ilalagay kung saan nandoon ‘yung lahat ng ating teritoryo pati ‘yung mga pinag-aawayan… sa stamp mismo,” Duterte’s spokesman Salvador Panelo said in a Palace briefing Tuesday.
This came after Duterte approved the proposal to stamp the Philippine Visa on passports of Chinese nationals who wish to enter the country.
READ: Duterte OKs proposal to stamp PH visas on Chinese visitors’ passports
In 2012, the Philippines, under then-President Benigno S. Aquino III, introduced the policy of stamping Philippine Visas on the application forms of visiting Chinese nationals instead of marking it on their passports. This move was in protest of the image imprinted on the e-passports of Chinese travelers showing Beijing’s nine-dash line that covers almost the entire South China Sea, including areas within Philippine territory.
READ: BI orders no stamping of Chinese passports
Asked if the impending move to mark Chinese visitors’ passports with a Philippine map stamp would mean an assertion of the Philippines’ rights over disputed territories in the South China Sea, Panelo said: “Yes.”
The Palace official added that the new visa issuance policy will be rolled out within the year.
The Philippines and China have been locked in a maritime dispute for years now. In July 2016, Manila won an arbitral case against Beijing’s expansive nine-dash line. But China has been refusing to recognize the historical decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, Netherlands. /kga
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