Credit to Author: Tempo Desk| Date: Sat, 15 Feb 2020 07:23:18 +0000
The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has implemented the lifting of the travel ban to Taiwan imposed last week to restrain the spread of the coronavirus disease-19 (Covid-19).
BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said he has instructed air and sea ports immigration personnel to allow foreign and Filipino travelers to enter Taipei from Manila and vice versa.
“We received the other day an order from the Office of the President lifting the travel restrictions, following the decision of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Infectious Disease (IATF) revoking the ban,” Morente said.
The ban drew strong protests from Taiwan government which warned of retaliatory action as well as Filipino and Taiwanese businessmen and thousands of Filipinos working there.
Currently, the Philippines is implementing a travel ban to foreign nationals coming from China and its Special Administrative Regions (SAR) which are Hong Kong and Macao.
China considers Taiwan as one of its province.
Only Filipinos and permanent resident visa holders are allowed to enter the Philippines from China and SAR.
Filipinos, on the other hand, are temporarily barred from traveling to the said geographical areas.
Morente said there are studies being done by the IATF to possibly lift the travel ban in certain areas in China and “we are on standby, ready to implement any policy change as deemed appropriate by the IATF.”
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has welcomed the decision made by the Philippine government to lift the ban on Taiwan.
On her Facebook page, the Taiwanese leader said late Friday night that they “approve of the Filipino government’s decision.” She also expressed her gratitude.
“I want to thank all of our friends in the Philippines who spoke up for Taiwan,” Tsai said.
“The Philippines is one of Taiwan’s closest neighbors, and we will continue working to foster closer bilateral relations,” Tsai said.
The Taiwanese President also assured Filipinos working, studying and traveling in Taiwan that they will continue their efforts to prevent the disease from entering its borders.
“There is no cause for worry as long as you comply with prevention guidelines,” Tsai