MANILA MalacaAang has issued an executive order which governs the admission and stay of foreign nationals in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone as temporary visitors.
Executive Order 72, signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea by authority of the President on Dec. 18, allows foreign nationals granted visa-free privilege to depart from the Subic Bay Piers and Wharves besides the Subic Bay International Airport (SBIA).
There is a need to amend EO No. 271 to allow foreign nationals granted the visa-free privilege under the said EO to depart from the Subic Pay Piers and Wharves, besides the SBIA, the EO read.
EO 271 allows foreign nationals, not categorized as restricted as determined by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), visiting the zone for business and/or tourism purposes to enter all ports of entry of the zone and stay therein without visa for a maximum period of 14 days subject to certain conditions and provided that they shall leave or depart from the Philippines only through the SBIA.
The EO was issued amid Subic Bay Piers and Wharves reportedly emerging as new destinations for international cruise ships.
Citing data from the Department of Tourism (DOT), the EO noted that cruise ship arrivals in 2018 each carry an average of 1,600 passengers and 1,000 crew members.
It is anticipated that there will be a continued increase in cruise ship arrivals in the Subic Bay in 2019 and onwards, it added.
Aside from allowing foreign nationals who enter the zone to depart from the Philippines only through SBIA or SBPW, the EO allows foreign nationals not restricted to enter all ports of entry of the Zone and stay therein without visa for a maximum period of 14 days provided that upon arrival, they present their passports, Certificates of Identity or travel documents valid for at least six months beyond the intended stay in the Zone and confirmed onward flight or marine vessel tickets.
The DFA, Bureau of Immigration and Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority must jointly implement the executive order and in consultation with the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency, must issue guidelines to ensure that there will be no detriment to national security.
The EO shall take effect immediately upon its publication in the Official Gazette or a newspaper of general circulation. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency