Hong Kong Cancels VISA Free Travel for Filipino Diplomats and Politicians

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As an act towards the incident that lead to the hostage taking of Hong Kong tourists in Manila in 2010, the Hong Kong government will implement their “first stage of sanctions” toward the Philippine by withdrawing the their rule of Visa Free travels for Filipino diplomats and politicians. This news was announced January 29, 2014. The hostage taking left 8 people dead.

Starting February 5, 2014, Filipino diplomats will need to apply Visas if they wish to visit or have special appointments and meetings in Hong Kong. Before the ruling, Hong Kong allows  a 14-day visa free travel for Filipinos.

The removal of the Visa Free travel was triggered when the Hong Kong government felt that they’ve received some sort of “negative message” coming from the Philippine Government in regards for the apology that Hong Kong is demanding.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said “The Philippine side is still unable to meet the demand of the victims and the families for a formal apology despite many rounds of discussions, ” in front of a press conference. He also said that the response from the Philippines was not acceptable.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying 

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The main reason why Philippine Government doest’s want to put a public apology to the Hong Kong government is that that the act was only made by an individual. That statement was given by President Benigno Aquino himself and he said the the perpetrator was  “probably mentally unstable.”

It is still not know if there would be any coming sanctions coming from the Hong Kong government.

Hong Kong is known for a top tourist destination for Filipinos because of it is just a few hours away from Manila and other international airports in the Philippines.

Hong Kong also employs 7.9% of the total OFW work force. Around 15 billion pesos were remitted by said Filipino workers in 2011.

Philippine diplomatic service members, Cabinet officials, service attachés and Filipino delegates to international institutions are required to get a Hong Kong Visa is they wish to visit the Chinese Territory starting next Wednesday.

As of the time being, regular Philippine Passport holders are not affected by this development.

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