2 ChineseShips arrived in Ph Despite the Visa Suspension,Ph Leader urges Filipinos to Embrace China.
PH suspends issuance of visa on arrival to Chinese nationals amid coronavirus alarm
The Philippine Immigration Bureau on Tuesday ordered the suspension of "visa upon arrival" or VUA issuance to Chinese nationals amid the spread of the deadly novel coronavirus worldwide.
"We are now temporarily suspending the issuance of VUA for Chinese nationals to slow down the influx of group tours," Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said in a statement.
The new order only affects five percent of Chinese nationals who visit in the country as 95 percent of the Chinese tourists who arrive have already secured their entry visa from their foreign posts, Immigration spokesperson Dana Sandoval said.
The VUA is granted to tour groups under Department of Tourism-accredited operators, qualified businessmen, athletes, and convention or exhibit delegates.
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The Immigration Bureau clarified there is no order stopping Chinese nationals from entering the country, adding there is no directive from the national government.
Senator Risa Hontiveros has urged the government to impose a temporary ban on all individuals who have passed through China's Wuhan City — the epicenter of the deadly novel coronavirus or 2019 n-CoV.
The virus has claimed the lives of 106 people and infected over 4,500 in mainland China. It continues to spread worldwide with over 50 cases in 14 countries.
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention raised its travel precautions for China to the highest level, advising its citizens to "avoid nonessential travel" to the country.
PCG: 2 China ships in Manila
Two ships from China have arrived and are presently docked at Pier 15, South Harbor in Manila, according to the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Tuesday.
The PCG said the first ship, “World Dream Cruise Ship,” arrived this morning from Hong Kong.
The PCG said the cruise ship has a total of 778 passengers and will leave for Subic at 9 p.m.
It added that the other ship, “MV Ligulao,” a cargo vessel, came from Lianyungang in Jiangsu, China. The PCG said the ship had arrived on Monday, January 27.
According to the PCG, the MV Ligulao, which has 20 crew members, will return to China on Tuesday night.
Duterte urges Filipinos to 'foster stronger bonds' with Chinese
President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday urged Filipinos to "foster stronger bonds" with the Chinese
"As we open a new page in our shared history, may we foster even stronger bonds of friendship with those of Chinese descent all around the world through cooperation, investments, cultural exchanges and people-to-people ties," he said in a statement.
Since he assumed office in 2016, Duterte has adopted a friendlier stance towards China despite unresolved disputes over the South China Sea, which Beijing claims in near entirety.
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