Subic aliens get visa-free privilege

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea

President Rodrigo Duterte has issued an Executive Order (EO) instructing several government agencies to have close coordination and consultation with the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) regarding the admission and temporary stay of foreign nationals in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.

Signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea with authority from the Chief Executive last 18 December and released by Malacañang yesterday, EO 72 grants visa-free privileges to aliens departing from piers and wharves in Subic Bay apart from the Subic Bay International Airport (SBIA).

“There is a need to amend EO 271 to allow foreign nationals granted the visa-free privilege under the said EO to depart from the Subic Pay Piers and Wharves besides the SBIA,” the EO stated.

EO 72 amended provisions in EO 271 issued in 1995 and directed the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Bureau of Immigration (BI), and Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) to issue guidelines and circulars regarding the implementation of the order.

The involvement of NICA was meant “to ensure that there will be no detriment to national security” in giving foreigners a limited duration of within the Subic Freeport Zone.

The DFA, BI and SBMA are also given authority to collect reasonable fees for the processing of no-visa entry and applications for visa waivers.

Foreigners must present their passports, certificates of identity or travel documents valid for at least six months beyond the intended stay in the Subic Freeport Zone and confirmed onward flight or marine vessel tickets.

Those not belonging to the “restricted” category, as determined by the DFA, shall be allowed entry for business and tourism purposes and stay without visa for a maximum period of 14 days, subject to certain conditions.

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