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Transcript of remarks by S for S

     Following is the transcript of remarks by the Secretary for Security, Mr Lai Tung-kwok, at a media session after attending the Legislative Council meeting yesterday (November 7):

Reporter: By threatening the visitors from the Philippines, is that a peaceful way forward?

Secretary for Security: I think I have made it very clear in my closing speech in responding to what all the legislators said during the debate. And I have already said clearly when I responded to one of your colleagues in Cantonese. Allowing people from the Philippines to come to Hong Kong visa-free for 14 days is an administrative arrangement, and at the same time, the Philippine Government also allows HKSAR passport holders to visit the Philippines without a visa for 14 days. This is different from visa abolition agreement, which is a formal agreement. In other words, the current arrangement is an administrative arrangement. So when look at the figures, the number of Filipinos visiting Hong Kong greatly outnumbered Hong Kong residents visiting the Philippines. This is partly because of the issue of Black Outbound Travel Alert by the Security Bureau since the Manila hostage tragedy. In our view, we may have some financial losses if we cease this visa-free arrangement for the Filipinos to visit Hong Kong. But this is comparatively much less when we compare with (the number of) Hong Kong people going to the Philippines. And we also expect that if this measure is going to be implemented, the number of visitors from the Philippines will drop substantially.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Friday, November 8, 2013
Issued at HKT 01:45


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