July 13, 2018 at 08:05 pm
Othel V. Campos
The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippine announced Friday that Taiwan extended the visa-exemption program for Filipinos for another year.
The trial period will continue until July 31, 2019, and will be reviewed for further extension.
For those who intend to stay in Taiwan for over 14 days or for the purpose of the study, work, missionary, employment and other gainful activities, they are still required to obtain appropriate visas before entering Taiwan.
The visa-free privilege was a reflection of Taiwan’s goodwill and friendship toward all Filipinos under the “New Southbound Policy” that aimed to build stronger bilateral relations and closer people-to-people connectivity between Taiwan and the Philippines, TECO said.
Taiwan representative to the Philippines Ambassador Michael Peiyung Hsu noted that the Philippines was Taiwan’s closest neighbor and an important partner for Taiwan’s “New Southbound Policy.”
The Philippines and Taiwan in previous years launched a number of visa liberalization measures that resulted in a rapid increase of visitors.
The number of two-way visitors hit a record high in 2017, with the number of Filipino travelers to Taiwan reaching 290,784. Taiwanese visitors to the Philippines, meanwhile, hit 236,777.
The mutual relaxation of visa restrictions has been a significant tool in improving the bilateral overall relations and enhancing people-to-people exchange and cooperation between the two trading partners.
Hsu said the extended courtesy would enhance the long-standing friendship and further strengthen the multifaceted partnership and cooperation between the two trading partners.
Hsu, meanwhile, urged Manila and the Manila Economic and Cultural Office to grant visa-free treatment to the people of Taiwan on the basis of reciprocity to attract more Taiwanese tourists and business people to the Philippines.
Mutual courtesy, he said, would impact positively on several fields, especially in tourism, investment, trade, education, culture, agriculture, and fisheries.