This is after some senators were alarmed by the entry of Chinese retirees who are only 35 years old.
On Friday, the issuance of special retirees residence visas (SRRV) to foreigners was stopped while the PRA was studying the age acceptance policy and visa deposit requirements of foreign retirees.
The board will meet again on November 6 to discuss the issue.
During the Senate hearing on the Department of Tourism’s (DOT) 2021 budget proposal on Monday, some senators were concerned about the PRA’s policy of accepting foreign retirees from the age of 35 and above.
The total number of foreign retirees in the country is more than 70,000, and more than 27,000 or almost 40 percent of them are from China.
PRA, an attached agency of the DOT, has written to the Department of Labor and Employment to look into the matter.
PRA suspends issuance of retirement visas to foreigners
“Binigyan kami ng datos nila na more or less itong retirees namin ay hindi nag-e-engage in any kind of illegal transaction,” said PRA General Manager Bienvenido Chy.
Senator Richard Gordon is skeptical because age 35 is within a soldier’s age, especially with the heated dispute in the territory of the Philippines and China in the South China Sea.
“That’s dangerous… You have to look at history. All the people from Japan before the war were here posing as construction workers, people making hemp. You better take a look at that. That’s a national interest consideration there, national security,” said Gordon.
“This has been the practice when I came in… I am just continuing the program,” Chy replied to the senator at the hearing.
The minimum age of foreign retirees was reduced to 35 years from the previous 50 years in 1993.
The DOT, on the other hand, assured that it will increase the monitoring of the profiles and activities of foreign retirees in the country.