Taiwan approves visa-free travel for Filipinos
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 29) — Visa-free privileges for Filipinos were approved by Taiwanese Premiere Lai Ching-te, the Taiwan state-run news agency reported Thursday.
The new policy covers a stay in Taiwan of up to 14 days. Its trial period is slated for either October or November, with an official date expected to be announced in a month.
The announcement was made by Winston Chen, director-general of the Taiwanese Foreign Ministry’s Department of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, at a press briefing.
Focus Taiwan, the English channel of the state-run Central News Agency, wrote that Chen said the program was approved “to promote people-to-people, tourism and commercial exchanges between Taiwan and the Philippines.”
The Manila Economic and Cultural Office in Taiwan told CNN Philippines that while they heard the news, they have yet to receive official communication on the matter.
The Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office in Manila also has yet to receive such advisement.
Chen was also quoted in the report as saying the Taiwanese government hopes the Philippines will also grant their people visa-free privileges “based on the principle of reciprocity.”
Focus Taiwan reported an anticipated amount of NT $7 billion (P11 billion) in tourism revenue from Filipinos this year. Citing the Travel Agent Association of Taiwan, visa-free privileges could generate an additional NT $2 billion (P3 billion).
According to data from the Department of Tourism, Taiwan also ranks as the sixth largest visitor market in the Philippines from January to May this year.
In 2016, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced Filipinos could apply for the e-visa (online visa), which covers a duration of up to 30 days and is valid for three months upon approval.
It also eased visa-free requirements for Filipinos who already possessed a resident card or visa for Australia, Canada, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, any of the Schengen countries, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
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