Marcos orders stricter visa issuance

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. (FILE)Photo courtesy of the Presidential Communications Office

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said on Thursday that the Philippines is not implementing stricter visa rules, but rather stricter enforcement of existing regulations for all nationalities entering the country.

Marcos’ reaction came in response to questions regarding the recent surge in fraudulent tourist visa applications from China, considering the increasing number of illegal activities involving Chinese nationals in the Philippines.

In a media interview in Cagayan de Oro City, Marcos acknowledged reports of abuses, including fake documents and visa conversions, particularly with student visas.

“We will monitor this closely,” Marcos said. “There are no special rules for anyone. Everyone is treated equally, but we will improve the enforcement in the examination of those applying for visas,” he added.

The focus will be on identifying and preventing illegal activities like scams, human trafficking, and attempts to work or own land while on a tourist visa. 

The President highlighted the importance of applicants proving their legitimacy and genuine intentions for visiting the Philippines.

“We know they are not Filipino,” President Marcos said, referring to those using fraudulent documents. “They cannot show any birth certificates; the ones they show are fake.”

The administration aims to ensure a smoother process for legitimate visitors while deterring those seeking to exploit the visa system. This stricter enforcement will apply to all nationalities, not just Chinese nationals.

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