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House reso seeks single visa to ASEAN-member countries

A resolution has been filed at the House of Representatives seeking to establish a single-visa scheme that would allow Filipinos to enter any of the 10 ASEAN-member countries.

Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, co-author of House Resolution 1313, said their proposed 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 travel documents for each country of destination.

Rodriguez said the creation of a single-visa system under HR 1313 would significantly boost the country's tourism industry.

"The Philippines, Indonesia and other neighboring countries will benefit from the single-visa scheme," Rodriguez said in a press statement Wednesday.

Aside from the Philippines and Indonesia, other ASEAN-member countries are Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Rodriguez urged the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to engage the other ASEAN countries into discussion on how to make this a reality and how to ensure that despite having a single-visa scheme, the security of all countries are protected and their sovereignty respected.

Abante Mindanao party-list Rep. Maximo Rodriguez, co-author of the resolution, meanwhile, 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, concerns on sovereignty and security and the different visa system in other countries," he said.

He, however, said that the DFA should start studying the proposal and initiate discussions with the ASEAN-member countries.  —Elizabeth Marcelo/KBK, GMA News
Tags: asean, visa