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Taiwan extends visa-free entry for Filipinos

TAIWAN has extended its 14-day visa-free entry privilege for Filipinos until July 2020, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) announced.
“The government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) announced that the visa-free privilege for the nationals of the Philippines will continue for another year from August 1, 2019, through July 31, 2020,” TECO said.
“This privilege is a display of Taiwan’s amity with the Philippines as the country continues to boost the travel convenience for Filipinos to visit Taiwan for leisure, business, or other short-term purposes,” it added.
The visa-free privilege aims to further deepen Taiwan’s relations with the Philippines, particularly in the areas of tourism, trade, investment, education, agriculture, fisheries, and healthcare. Taiwan stressed that the Philippines is not only its closest neighbor but also a priority partner to its “New Southbound Policy” which seeks to bolster relations and people-to-people ties with neighboring countries.
According to TECO, the implementation of the visa-free program since November 2017 has resulted in a rapid increase of Filipinos visiting Taiwan. In 2018, visitors from the Philippines reached 419,000, recording a 44 percent increase as compared to the number in 2017.
Regional airlines both from Taiwan and the Philippines have also launched more direct flights and opened new routes to the major cities between the two countries. Filipinos have more choices as they could now depart for Taiwan from Manila, Puerto Princesa, Clark, Cebu, and Kalibo, helping Filipino travellers save more time and money.
“The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines encourages more Filipino friends to maximize the visa-free status and to visit Taiwan as often as possible to enjoy its beautiful attractions, the wide variety of shopping and dining options and the warm hospitality,” TECO said.
At the same time, TECO urged the Philippine government to grant visa-free treatment to Taiwan on the basis of reciprocity, so as to attract more Taiwanese tourists and businessmen to visit the country. TECO emphasized that this could further strengthen the friendship and bring mutual benefits to Taipei and Manila.
The said visa-free treatment for Filipinos was supposed to expire on July 31, 2019. With the extension, Filipino may enter Taiwan and stay for up to 14 days without having to apply for a visa until July 31, 2020, granted they comply with the conditions:  1. Possess an ordinary/regular passport with remaining validity of at least six months from the date of entry; 2. Hold a confirmed return plane or boat ticket, or a confirmed plane or boat ticket, along with a valid visa, for an onward destination; 3. Provide the confirmation of hotel reservations or an address and contact details for their stay in Taiwan, as well as a financial statement; and 4. Must have no criminal record, as verified by immigration upon arrival at an airport or seaport in Taiwan.
TECO for its part reminded that the duration of the 14-day visa-free is not extendable and begins on the following day of arrival in Taiwan. (Joyce Ann Rocamora)
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