By Roy Mabasa
The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines (TECO) on Friday welcomed Malacañang’s decision to remove Taiwan from the travel ban earlier implemented in response to the outbreak of the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19).
In a statement, the TECO said Taiwan has taken all measures needed to contain the spread of the disease and will continue to work closely with the international community, including the Philippines, to fight against the virus to safeguard the health and welfare of humanity.
The Taiwan office in Manila said Taiwan “attaches great importance to its long-standing relationship with the Republic of the Philippines. We are determined to strengthen our bilateral ties and promote our people-to-people connectivity.”
TECO also expressed its deep appreciation to all Filipino friends who voiced their sincere support for removing Taiwan from the temporary travel ban, and commended its counterpart, the Manila Economic and Cultural Office, for its “tireless efforts to help remove Taiwan from the travel ban.”
On Feb. 10, the Philippine government through the Department of Health (DOH) announced the inclusion of Taiwan in the ban of all flights coming to and from China and its special administration regions Hong Kong and Macau.
Taiwan immediately protested the implementation of the ban and even reportedly threatened to retaliate if the order was not lifted by Feb. 14.
There are an estimated 160,000 Filipinos working in different industries in Taiwan.