Chinese arrivals since 2017 higher than QC population — Hontiveros
MANILA, Philippines — The number of Chinese nationals who have entered the country since 2017 has surpassed the total population of Quezon City, Senator Risa Hontiveros pointed out on Tuesday.
This, as her Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations, and Gender Equality resumed its investigation into the so-called “pastillas” scam facilitating the seamless entry of Chinese nationals into Philippine borders in exchange for a P10,000-fee.
Hontiveros cited figures provided by the Bureau of Immigration which showed that there have been about four million Chinese nationals who have entered the country since 2017.
“The numbers are staggering. For the sake of comparison, four million Chinese nationals arriving here since 2017 is comparable to more than the entire population of Quezon City,” she said in a statement.
“Kumbaga, bakit mas marami pa sa mga residente ng QC ang bilang ng Chinese na pinapapasok sa bansa?” she added.
Hontiveros noted that of these four million Chinese nationals, around 3.8 million were non-VUA (Visa Upon Arrival) applicants while around 150,000 were VUA applicants.
The VUA program is a landed visa scheme that the government launched three years ago to attract more Chinese tourists into the country.
Under the scheme, a VUA grantee is allowed to enter and stay in the country for 30 days without the need to obtain an entry visa from a Philippine consulate in his port of origin.
Around three million of these non-VUA applicants are believed to have paid the extra P10,000 service fee in the “pastillas” scam uncovered by Hontiveros in a hearing last February.
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