DFA chief wants to end ‘visa upon arrival’ policy for foreigners

Robie de Guzman   •   August 1, 2019   •   1569

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr.

MANILA, Philippines – Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. on Wednesday recommended putting an end to visa upon arrival for foreign nationals amid concerns on the surge of Chinese tourists in the country.

Locsin said foreigners should undergo vetting process by consular offices before getting visas.

The DFA chief made the remark after National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. said that the influx of foreigners, especially Chinese nationals in the country poses possible security threat.

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

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

The Department of Finance (DOF) earlier found that at least 100,000 foreigners are working in the country without the necessary permits. Most of them are in the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) sector.

Most of the POGO employees are Chinese and are supposedly not paying income tax.

The local online gaming sector later agreed with the DOF to terms on tax rates on its foreign workers.

DFA temporarily closes consular offices in Santiago, Tagum

Maris Federez   •   September 13, 2021

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has suspended the operations of its consular offices (CO) in Tagum City, Davao del Norte, and in Santiago City, Isabela from 10-14 September 2021 and 13-17 September 2021, respectively.

In a statement, the DFA said the personnel in the said consular offices have been infected with COVID-19 and other personnel has been identified as close contacts.

“As such, the COs have temporarily suspended operations to conduct thorough disinfection of its premises and to comply with the isolation and quarantine guidelines imposed by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for Emerging Infectious Diseases,” the statement said.

Affected applicants in CO Santiago with supposed appointments from 13-17 September 2021 will receive an email providing them the details of their alternative passport appointment.

Meanwhile, affected applicants in CO Tagum with supposed appointments from 10-14 September 2021 will be given new schedules from 15-24 September 2021.

The advisory added that applicants that require emergency or urgent consular services may contact CO Tagum by email (tagum.co@dfa.gov.ph / dfatagumconcerns@gmail.com /) or via landline (084 216 – 9846).

The CO Tagum will resume its regular operations on Wednesday, 15 September 2021, the statement further read.

The DFA said that it requested the public’s continued understanding as the department adheres to the prescribed measures against the COVID-19 pandemic for the safety of personnel and applicants.

Likewise, the Department urges applicants to ONLY refer to the official DFA platforms for announcements and updates.

DFA records 130 new COVID-19 cases among overseas Filipinos

Maris Federez   •   September 7, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) reported a total of 130 new COVID-19 cases among overseas Filipinos over the previous week, bringing the total number of cases to 23,036.

The DFA also recorded 287 new recoveries, pushing the total recoveries to 13,215, and seven new fatalities bringing the total death toll to 1,376.

Infected overseas Filipinos undergoing treatment is at 8,445.

Compared to last week’s figures, the DFA said, the total number of recoveries increased by 2.22%. Europe was the only region that did not record new cases this past week.

Meanwhile, the number of countries and territories with confirmed cases of COVID-19 among Filipinos abroad has now reached 103, following reports from the Middle East, and the Asia and the Pacific regions.

The DFA, together with its Foreign Service Posts, said that it continues to monitor and assist Filipinos abroad amid the pandemic.

DFA consular office in NCR East temporarily closed until September 3

Marje Pelayo   •   August 31, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA)has temporarily suspended the operations of its consular office in the National Capital Region East branch located at SM Megamall from August 31 to September 3.

The DFA said personnel in the CO NCR East office have been identified as close contact of a COVID-19 positive case thus requiring observation and self-quarantine as imposed by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Given this development, the DFA assures that that all passport appointments during this period will be rescheduled.

Affected applicants will receive an email providing them with an alternative passport appointment schedule.

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