Decision on visa-free entry for Filipinos to Taiwan known soon

MANILA — The Taiwanese government is expected to make a formal announcement in September indicating the exact date of the visa-free entry for Filipinos to Taiwan.

This was the statement made by Taiwan’s representative to the Philippines and head of the Taipei Economic Cooperation Office (TECO) Dr. Gary Song-Huann Lin during the 2017 Taiwan Tourism Workshop held at the New World Manila Bay Hotel Wednesday (July 5).

It may be recalled that the Taiwan government earlier announced its plans to ease the entrance of Filipinos into Taiwan through its visa-liberalization initiatives.

However, Lin said the Taiwan government will only make an announcement once all preparations have been completed.

Reports showed that the Taiwanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs earlier postponed the visa-free entry initially set for June due to some technical problems.

During the workshop, the Taiwan Tourism Bureau in cooperation with the TECO, showcased Taiwan’s latest tourism developments.

The workshop featured a “Travel Mart” and presentations from different Taiwanese and Filipino partner institutions, followed by a dinner and program to cap off the festivities.

Lin, in his speech, emphasized the growing relationship between the Philippines and Taiwan and how tourism can boost this relationship to even greater heights.

He stated that both nations tend to overlook each other over the years despite its geographical closeness, only being separated by a two-hour flight.

“It is time for the Philippines and Taiwan to beef up our traditionally long-standing friendship,” Lin said.

Along with the recently implemented “New Southbound Policy” which tops the Philippines on the priority list, Lin said that he believed that these actions will help strengthen the two countries’ “comprehensive relationship” along with the ASEAN nations, New Zealand, Australia, and the South Asian Nations.

Moreover, he said that through these joint efforts the two countries will not only enhance trade and investments, but also strengthen exchanges of culture, education, people to people, and including tourism.

“…This is the best time for our two nations to partner together,” he added, assuring that his office and the Taiwanese government, will always extend welcome hands for their Filipino brothers and sisters.

More than 60 participants, including delegations from Taiwan, are attending the 2017 Travel Madness Expo (TME) now being held at the SMX Convention Center in Manila from July 6 to 9.

Guests visiting the Taiwan booth will be given a taste of what to expect when visiting Taiwan such as multiple performances and activities like nail painting, acrobatics, balloon artists, cotton candy making, a variety of food tastings among others. Azer N. Parrocha/