MANILA (Mabuhay) – Lawmakers have filed a resolution establishing a single-visa scheme allowing Filipinos to enter any of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) without the hassle of acquiring travel documents from their intended destination.
Rep. Rufus Rodriguez (2nd District, Cagayan de Oro City) said the creation of a single-visa system under House Resolution 1313 would significantly boost the country’s tourism industry.
Rodriguez said the single-visa scheme is similar to Europe’s unified visa system allowing non-ASEAN nationals to enter the Asian countries using a single visa saving them time and resources in securing such documents.
“The Philippines, Indonesia and other neighboring countries will benefit from the single-visa scheme,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez urged the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to seriously consider the proposed single-visa scheme by discussing the proposal with other countries.
“The DFA should engage the other Asean countries into discussion on how to make this a reality and how to how to ensure that despite having a single-visa, the security of all countries are protected and their sovereignty respected,” Rodriguez said.
However, Rep. Maximo Rodriguez (Party-list, Abante Mindanao), another author of the measure, admitted that it might take a while before the single-visa scheme could be implemented because of many considerations.
“The establishment of a single-visa scheme may not occur in the next five years due to barriers of technology, political issues, concern sovereignty and security and the different visa system in other countries,” Rodriguez said.(MNS)