The government is calling on relatives to support students with visa issues in the Philippines.

Secretary to Prime Minister (SPM), Dr. Jimmie Rodgers says 46 students have visa problems in the Philippines.

In the oversights radio talkback show, Rodgers says the government can no longer take responsibility for what it has already paid for.

“Government has given money to the students as part of their scholarship to sort their visas out in the past. The last flight from the Philippines is on the 11th of January.

“If the students cannot sort out their visa issue, there is a likelihood they could be excluded from the government flight. Government cannot take responsibility for what it has already paid for”, Rodgers said.

He says it seems as if the students are not serious about their studies at all in the Philippines. He says the students have relatives and it is about time they step in to assist the students.

“Government cannot bail them out this time”, Rodgers says.

He says the other option for them is for the Philippine government to deport the students with visa issues.

Deputy Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cornelius Walegerea says some of the students have visa issues dating back to 2019 and as far back as 2018.

“It is very costly. It ranges between 600 to 900 thousand Solomon Dollars, taking into account visa fines and cost of renewing their visa”, Walegerea says.