MANILA, Philippines – Taiwan announced on Thursday, July 12, that it has extended the visa-free privilege for Filipinos until July 31, 2019, and will afterwards review if it will extend this policy again.
"On behalf of the government of the Republic of China (Taiwan), the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in the Philippines has the pleasure to announce hereby that the visa exemption program for the nationals of the Philippines will be extended for another year. The trial period will continue until July 31, 2019, and will be reviewed for further extension," TECO announced on Thursday.
"This visa-free privilege is a reflection of Taiwan's goodwill and friendship towards all Filipinos under the 'New Southbound Policy,' which aims to build stronger bilateral relations and closer people-to-people connectivity between Taiwan and the Philippines," it added.
Taiwan earlier implemented this visa-free policy on a trial basis from November 1, 2017, to July 31, 2018.
Taiwan noted in its announcement:
A visa-free Filipino visitor must meet the following requirements:
However, those who intend to stay in Taiwan for more than 14 days or for the purpose of study, work, missionary, employment, and other gainful activities are still required to obtain appropriate visas before entering Taiwan.
Taiwan's representative in the Philippines, Ambassador Michael Peiyung Hsu, then urged the Philippine government "to grant visa-free treatment to the people of Taiwan on the basis of reciprocity."
This will "attract more Taiwanese tourists and business people to visit the Philippines," Hsu said.
Taiwan said the exchange of tourists in both the Philippines and Taiwan reached a record-high in 2017. "Filipino travelers going to Taiwan reached 290,784 while Taiwanese visitors to the Philippines reached 236,777," it said.
"This mutual relaxation of visa restrictions is indeed an important factor in improving bilateral overall relations and enhancing people-to-people exchange and cooperation between the two countries," Taiwan added. – Rappler.com
Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at email@example.com.