The Taiwanese government is requesting the Philippines to grant Taiwanese tourists visa-free privilege.
Alfred Y.H. Yang, director for the Economic Division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines (TECOP), lamented that the agency has been seeking its counterpart here, the Manila Economic and Cultural Office, to grant similar perks but long-standing negotiations have not borne fruit.
“We wish the Philippine side will also give us the similar treatment on the visa-waiver program. Until now we’re still discussing,” Mr. Yang told reporters in a media roundtable in Manila City on Monday, Aug. 6.
“They always say they are starting. But I think the man reason for the starting for such a long time is the budget. We respect your side but we need reciprocal [treatment],” he added.
The TECOP recently extended the 14-day free visa free program for another year. Initially set for nine months, the program was stretched to July 2019 after Taiwan saw a record number of Filipino tourist arrivals last year. — Janina C. Lim