MANILA - The visa upon arrival policy granted Chinese nationals should be reviewed as it may have affected the rise in foreign prostitution and entry of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus in the country, Senate Tourism Committee chair Sen. Nancy Binay has said.
In Senate Resolution No. 309 filed on Feb. 3, Binay said the Senate should hold an inquiry to see if “the visa upon arrival scheme would not pose health risks and facilitate the proliferation of sex trafficking and prostitution in the country.”
“The outbreak of the novel coronavirus and the rise of Chinese-operated sex dens in the country... calls for a more vigilant and tougher government regulation,” she said.
Some 300 Chinese sex workers and clients were arrested in 6 Philippine cities in the second half of 2019 alone, the senator noted.
An earlier Senate investigation showed that Chinese-run prostitution dens also hired Filipina teens as prostitutes.
The deadly new coronavirus strain, which killed nearly 500 people worldwide, originated from a market in Wuhan, China.
The Philippines earlier confirmed that 3 Chinese nationals- all travelers from Wuhan- tested positive for the 2019-nCoV. One of the patients died over the weekend.
The visa upon arrival policy for Chinese nationals was implemented in 2017 after then Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo said it would increase arrivals from one of the world’s largest tourism markets.
Earlier this week, the government suspended the scheme to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus, which has infected tens of thousands in China.