TOURISTS and business travellers from southern China intending to visit the Philippines can now obtain visas at the Philippine Consulate in Hongkong. Previously, all applications were made to the Philippine Consulate in Beijing. The move is part of efforts to service the increasing number of residents of southern China who are travelling to the Philippines. ''Basically, this is to make it more convenient for the people from southern China to apply for visas,'' said Ms Gloria Eleazar, tourism attache at the Philippine Consulate in Hongkong. The number of mainland Chinese travelling to the Philippines has been small, with about 5,000 arrivals last year. But that figure was still a 32 per cent rise over 1991. ''We expect the figure to double for 1993 and we hope that even more Chinese will visit the Philippines,'' she said. She attributed the growing number of Chinese leisure travellers to their new affluence and disposable incomes. Applications for visas on a group basis through travel agencies would be handled more quickly as a travel agency would be responsible for ensuring the departure of a visitor from the Philippines. ''For individual applications, the person would probably have to get a letter from his employer or other particulars,'' she said. Group visas for holders of certificates of identity can also be obtained through the same procedure. The visas are valid for 21 days. Tour agencies arranging for visits to the Philippines should be accredited with the Department of Tourism.