President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said the government is already fine-tuning some measures aimed at extending the electronic visas (e-Visas) issued to foreigners.
“We will find a way to do it. But we are doing it (extending the e-Visa),” President Marcos said during the courtesy visit of Indian Ambassador to the Philippines, His Excellency Shambhu Kumaran, at Malacañan Palace in Manila last week.
During the courtesy visit, Kumaran asked President Marcos to allow the extension of e-Visas for Indian nationals who are staying in the Philippines, according to a news release of the Presidential Communications Office on Sunday.
President Marcos replied by saying that provisions for e-Visa extensions will be implemented, not only for the Indian nationals, but also for other foreigners who are staying in the Philippines as well.
“It won’t be just India, we are doing it with…several other countries as well to keep it. Again, we will just apply the same principles that we did with others – to India. But that is something that’s easy for us,” the President said.
“That’s going to be a good beginning of a good exchange between our two countries,” the chief executive added.
Kumaran paid a courtesy visit to President Marcos last week to reiterate India’s aim to strengthen bilateral relations with the Philippines. Next year will mark the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of Philippine-India diplomatic relations.
In March, Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Christina Frasco discussed with the heads of the Bureau of Immigration, and Departments of Foreign Affairs, Justice and Information and Communications Technology the need for visa reforms to address tourism bottlenecks.
Frasco particularly cited China and India’s potential to bring in more travelers and said government agencies must explore the provision of e-Visas to their nationals.
DOT data showed India ranked eighth among top foreign visitors in 2022 with 51,542, while China recorded more than 1.7 million Chinese visitors prior to the pandemic. (PNA)