By Rommel F. Lopez

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. (photo courtesy of the Presidential Communications Operations Office)

“We need to put an end to visas upon arrival; all visas should be issued by consular offices after vetting. We must take extra care in outsourcing any part of the visa application process, picking only the most reputable worldwide.”

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. tweeted this in reaction to National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon’s statement that the sudden influx of Chinese into the country posed a security threat.

“I’m on the cautious side. When foreigners, regardless of nationality, come in, and their intent is not clear, or when some of them are undocumented, or have false documentation,” Esperon said.

Esperon said he would confer with Bureau of Immigration chief Jaime Morente on whether immigration laws were being strictly implemented.

“If we have such things as rules of naturalization, rules of labor, and they are not followed, bakit nagkakaganoon (why does this happen)?” he said.

Locsin proposed to stop the process of stamping the visas on “slips of paper rather than foreign passports” upon arrival and instead have them pass through consulates abroad where vetting happens.

“So we curtail visas on arrival which means: visitor not vetted in our consulates abroad; planes have passengers without visas thereby incurring US Homeland Security wrath,” he tweeted.

The activities of Chinese nationals in the country have come under close scrutiny after two groups of Chinese nationals were caught roaming around and taking pictures inside the military’s naval facility in Puerto Princesa on the night of July 23.

The group claims they were there as tourists and that the naval base was part of their tour package.  The local tourism office said the base was never a part of any tour package