Taiwan May Reportedly Cancel Visa-Free Entry For Filipinos After COVID-19 Travel Ban

The visa-free entry is supposed to be in effect until July 31.
PHOTO: istockphoto

After the Philippines included Taiwan in the Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) travel ban, Taiwan may cancel the visa-free entry of Filipinos, according to Inquirer.

This might be among the “reactive measures” of the Taiwanese government, said Angelito Banayo, chairperson of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) in Taipei. “Anything is possible.”

Taiwan first granted visa-free entry to Filipinos in November 2017. In July 2019, Taiwan announced that it was extending the policy until July 31, 2020. Under the policy, Filipinos can stay for up to 14 days without applying for a visa as long as they meet the requirements.

The Philippine government recently included Taiwan in the travel ban as a preventive measure against COVID-19. Department of Health spokesperson Eric Domingo cited the World Health Organization’s supposed classification of Taiwan as a territory of China. Mainland China, where the virus originated, and its territories Hong Kong and Macau were the first places to be included in the Philippines’ travel ban.

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However, Banayo said the Taiwanese government thinks the travel ban is based on “political” rather than health-related reasons.

Under the 1975 Joint Communique between China and the Philippines, the Philippines observes a “One-China policy” that says Taiwan is part of China, according to Inquirer. Last month, reelected President Tsai Ing-wen reiterated Taiwan’s independence. 

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