The Department of Tourism (DOT) has recommended the simplification of process requirements for Waiver of Exclusion Ground (WEG) and exemption of qualified students to apply for Special Study Permit (SSP) for the ESL industry during the Philippine Visa Reforms Convergence Meeting on Friday (March 25).
Undersecretary for Tourism Regulation, Coordination, and Resource Generation (TRCRG) Shahlimar Hofer Tamano also noted that with the resurgence of cruise tourism in the country, it is recommended for DFA, DOJ, and BI, as signatories of the Joint Memorandum Circular for Cruise Ship Landing Permit, to revisit the draft and make final inputs for finalization.
The platform will also be digitalized and made an e-Landing Permit.
Officials have expressed their support for the proposed reforms on the country’s special markets while citing the need to “balance legal requirements” in accordance with the law.
According to Austria-based research market specialist Bonard in 2019, the Philippines is the fifth largest English as a Second Language (ESL) provider in the world with around 70% of the whole ESL industry in the country based on Cebu Island which caters to students from Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China as well as emerging markets Mongolia, Thailand, West Asia and Russia.
The country is anticipating 139 ports of call for cruise tourism with over 117,000 passengers pegged for 2023 alone.