MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang believes that the Philippine position on the West Philippine Sea will not be weakened even if the country has decided to honor Chinese e-passports with China's map including the disputed islands printed on it.
"Patuloy po ang ating posisyon dyan. Hindi naman magbabago dahil lang sa paglagay ng mapa sa kanilang passport ay makakaapekto or hihina po, no. Our position has been amplified by the President in ASEAN and we see no reason why it should weaken our position," presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said.
The Department of Foreign Affairs said immigration officials will continue to process e-passports of Chinese citizens who are among the country's top visitors.
"Syempre papasok po 'yung tao. Hindi naman kasalanan ng citizen na ang passport n'ya may ganoong mapa. So rerespetuhin po ng ating mga immigration officials," Lacierda said.
Lacierda said no other specific course of action yet is being taken apart from the note verbale, pending discussions of an interagency task force that is tackling the matter.
The Palace welcomed a reported move of the United States to "raise concerns" with China regarding the e-passport.