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No protest after Thai border policy changed

Porters pull a cart loaded with goods across the Thai-Cambodia border as others wait for jobs in Poipet in 2015.
Porters pull a cart loaded with goods across the Thai-Cambodia border as others wait for jobs in Poipet in 2015. Khouth Sophak Chakrya

No protest after Thai border policy changed

A local Poipet union has called off a protest against what they characterised as overly expensive border passes used by day labourers entering Thailand after provincial officials introduced a new, cheaper permit.

The Cambodia Informal Economy Reinforced Association (CIERA) had planned demonstrations at the Poipet border checkpoint saying the 6,000 riel (about $1.50) vendors and transporters had to pay to cross into Thailand, in addition to informal payments made to border officials, was too much.

However, Poipet town Governor San Seang Hour said officials had made changes to their policy and would issue a two-year pass to vendors and labourers, allowing them to stay up to seven days at a time.

“The new border pass will require people to make it at the provincial office,​​ not the international border checkpoints, and pay 20,000 riels, or $5, and it will take five days in order to get the new one,” Seang Hour said.

Din Puthy, president of CIERA, said he welcomed the new permit but still found it inconvenient that applicants had to apply at the provincial capital.

But Adhoc Provincial Coordinator Sam Chankea said he supported the issuance of the pass at the provincial offices to prevent informal payments that had been prevalent at the border checkpoint.

“It is better to do it at the provincial office,” Chankea said.

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