By Camille Diola/philstar.com – The Philippines has granted a visa-free privilege lasting 30 days for nationals of seven more countries, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced on Tuesday.
In a statement, DFA said that Belize, Croatia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan are granted visa-free access to the country starting Tuesday.
“The DFA fully supports national efforts to attract more tourists and potential investors to the Philippines,” Foreign Affairs undersecretary Rafael Seguis said.
“The DFA, through its various embassies and consulates abroad, has been playing an active role in helping the Department of Tourism reach its target of 10 million foreign tourist arrivals by 2015,” Seguis added.
Seguis explained that the decision to grant the new privileges to the Central Asian and European countries are based on inputs from the Bureau of Immigration, Department of Tourism, Department of Justice, Philippine Center on Transnational Crime, National Intelligence Coordinating Agency and the National Security Council.
The agency, however, removed Somalia’s 30-day visa-free access. In recent years, the African country was torn by a civil war, with a new state of Somaliland arising from the upheaval.
“Somali nationals may apply for visas at Philippine embassies or consulates in their countries of origin or residence,” the statement said.
Somalia now joins a list of countries including China and Taiwan whose nationals are prohibited from entering the country without government endorsement.
DFA reminded nationals of countries who may enter visa-free can avail of the privilege to present a national passport valid for at least six months beyond the contemplated period of stay.
They are also advised to present a return ticket to the country of origin or onward ticket to the next country of destination.
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