A Chinese mother who was given the first electronic visa or e-visa from the Philippine government arrived in the country, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) reported yesterday.

She and her female toddler were onboard a China Eastern flight from Shanghai and were welcomed by BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco and Assistant Secretary Henry Bensurto Jr. of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA)'s Office of the Consular Affairs, the BI said.

With the arrival of the first recipient of the e-visa, the BI said it is 'expecting an increase in the number of passengers during the 'ber' months, following the re-opening of the country's borders and the massive promotional campaigns of the Department of Tourism.'

The DFA launched last month a program that enables foreigners to apply for and get temporary visitor's visas online, with its soft launch held in Shanghai, the BI said.

The system enabled the BI to 'streamline its procedures and expedite the process through less paper-based documents,' it added.

The BI said it hopes the e-visa system would help attract more foreigners amid relaxing of travel restrictions enforced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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