The Philippine Bureau of Immigration announced this November 6 the resumption of accepting Chinese passports which bear China’s disputed 9-dash line over the West Philippine Sea. The move effectively ends 7 years of protest action that refused the stamping of PROC passports depicting the invalid claim.
In an official statement the BI explains: “The practice of stamping on Chinese passports was stopped by the BI in 2012 at the height of the country’s territorial dispute with China in the West Philippine Sea. This follows the then move of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to place Philippine Visas of Chinese nationals on a separate sheet of paper.”
“Said policy was implemented after China introduced a new e-passport with pages that included the historic nine-dash line map where it bases its claim to the disputed islands,” it continues.
The statement confirms the change in policy, now allowing immigration officers to affix their stamps on any regular PROC passport. “The previous practice of stamping on a separate sheet of paper has been proven to be problematic as these sheets are easily lost and misplaced by holders,” it justifies.
This follows the proposal of Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. to enact said policy change, as well as President Rodrigo Duterte’s approval of it.
What do you think about this?
Do you have a story for the WhenInManila.com Team? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or send us a direct message at WhenInManila.com Facebook Page. Interact with the team and join the WhenInManila.com Community at WIM Squad!