Legarda: No valid purpose for Taiwan sanction
MANILA, Philippines – Sen Loren Legarda, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, expressed regret over Taiwan's decision to freeze the hiring of Filipino workers following the death of a Taiwanese fisherman in Philippine waters.
“It serves no valid purpose for Taiwan to impose sanctions against Taiwan-bound workers or to conduct naval drills near Philippine waters as this will only further complicate the issue,” Legarda said in a press conference on Thursday, May 17.
The Philippine government, through the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO), has already conveyed its sincere apologies over the tragic incident but the Taiwanese government still sanctioned and ban the hiring of new workers from the Philippines.
President Aquino sent Amadeo R. Perez, chairman of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO), which handles relations with Taiwan, to the island on Wednesday to act as his "personal representative" and apologize.
But Taiwan Premier Jiang Yi-huah said that Perez did not have “sufficient authorization” which shows “the Philippines' lack of sincerity in resolving the incident.”
Legarda said it is “regrettable” that Taiwan has seen the efforts of the Philippine government as “falling short of its expectations.” She however gave assurances that the government would leave “no stone unturned” to ferret out the circumstances and the truth behind the tragic incident.
“We want peaceful relations with all our neighbors and we hope this episode will be resolved in a spirit of open dialogue and constructive engagement,” Legarda said.
There are currently 87,000 Philippine workers in Taiwan and labor authorities said nearly 2,000 new applications are submitted monthly. –Rappler.com