BI to Resume Stamping on Passports of Chinese Nationals
The Bureau of Immigration (BI) announced that it will resume stamping arrival and departure stamps on regular e-passports of nationals from the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
BI discontinued stamping for Chinese passports in 2012 at the height of the Philippines’ territorial dispute with China in the West Philippine Sea. After which the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) ordered the segregation of Philippine visas of Chinese nationals.
During this period, China introduced a new e-passport with pages that include the historic nine-dash line map — their basis for claiming the islands in the West Philippine Sea.
Recently, BI Commissioner Jaime Morente issued a memorandum stating that immigration officers in different ports can now affix their stamps on the passports of Chinese nationals entering the country.
This change in policy is in compliance with DFA’s recently-issued foreign service circular (FSC) instructing Philippine consular officers to affix the Philippine visa on the pages of Chinese passports where the nine-dash line map is drawn.
BI Commissioner Morente said the agency supports DFA’s change in policy. He also stated that the previous practice of segregating the stamps of Chinese nationals was problematic as the documents are easily lost and misplaced by the holders.