MANILA, Philippines – Taiwan announced on Tuesday, May 16, that it is rescheduling to September the start of its visa-free privilege for Filipinos, which was earlier set to begin in June.
Taiwan, also called the Republic of China, will announce in September or at another "appropriate date" when this visa-free privilege will begin.
Earlier, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in the Philippines told ABS-CBN News that the visa-free privilege for Filipinos will begin on a one-year trial basis starting June 1 this year.
Taiwan's representative to the Philippines, Dr Gary Song-Huann Lin, on Tuesday stressed that granting this visa-free privilege is one of his priorities.
"The Philippines is considered as an important partner of Taiwan, so we are really making efforts to welcome more Filipino visitors to visit Taiwan, and the postponement of the visa-free arrangements is only intended to conduct seamless operations, facilitate the entry to Taiwan, and enhance security and safety for everyone," Lin said.
In any case, Taiwan pointed out that the Philippines has been included in its e-visa program list since October 2016. (READ: Taiwan eases visa rules for PH passport holders)
Taiwan said Filipinos who wish to visit for tourism or a short trip can "continue to apply for either a free travel authorization certificate (TAC), a payable e-visa, or the payable proper visa stamped in the passport."
A single-entry visa costs P2,400 ($48.34) and a multiple-entry visa is worth P4,800 ($96.68).
Taiwan advised Filipinos to check the TECO website at www.roc-taiwan.org/ph for more information on Taiwanese visas. – Rappler.com
$1 = P49.64
Paterno R. Esmaquel II is a senior reporter leading Rappler’s coverage of religion and foreign affairs. He finished MA Journalism in Ateneo and MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.