People and groups from tourism-related sectors in Taiwan and the Philippines are calling on the government to extend its visa-free entry program for Filipinos, which ends on July 31.
Representative to the Philippines Michael Hsu (徐佩勇) told Taiwanese business leaders at a meeting a few days ago in the Philippines that his office has been inundated with e-mails from Filipinos urging Taiwan to extend the program.
EVA Air, China Airlines and Philippine Airlines are among industry players hoping for the program to be extended, Hsu said.
The Philippine Travel Agencies Association and the Philippine Tour Operators Association also reportedly called on the Taiwan Representative Office to convey the widespread support for the program.
A 14-day visa-free entry program for Filipinos was implemented in November 2017 in line with the government’s New Southbound Policy and was extended for one year after the trial period ended on July 31 last year.
Earlier this month, Philippine Dental Association president Arleen Reyes thanked Taiwan for the privilege of visa-free entry during a courtesy call to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Manila.
The convenience of visa-free entry has encouraged many Filipinos to visit Taiwan, Reyes said, adding that the policy should be continued.
During the first two months of this year, 72,803 Philippine tourists visited Taiwan, a 31.37 percent increase from the same period last year, Tourism Bureau data showed.
Most Filipinos visiting Taiwan are young and not that well-off, so they usually plan their trips three to four months in advance to save on air fares, said a Taiwanese airline officer in Manila who requested anonymity.
He predicted a decline in ticket sales in coming months if the program’s future remains uncertain. Potential visitors might turn to other Southeast Asian countries or even Australia instead of Taiwan, he said.
Jay Lee (李韋憲), a Taiwanese who teaches Chinese in Manila, said that many of his students had visited Taiwan over the past two years, adding: “The visa-free treatment really made a difference.”
921 EARTHQUAKE: The magnitude 7.3 quake left 2,456 people dead and 10,718 injured, while 53,661 houses were fully destroyed and 53,024 houses damaged The Central Weather Bureau yesterday received about 50,000 views on Facebook after it posted the data that it collected on Sept. 21, 1999, when the nation was devastated by a magnitude 7.3 earthquake. The data showed that the 921 Earthquake hit the nation at 1:47am, with the epicenter being 7km southwest of the bureau’s quake detection center in Nantou County’s Yuchi Township (魚池) at a depth of 8km. The quake left 2,456 people dead and 10,718 injured, while 53,661 houses were fully destroyed and 53,024 houses damaged, with the cost of the damage estimated at NT$300 billion (US$10.8 billion at the current
British newspaper The Mail on Sunday reported that Prince Charles met with Bruno Wang (汪家興), a Taiwanese fugitive who describes himself as a Chinese philanthropist and donated ￡500,000 (US$683,522) to the prince’s charity, the Prince’s Foundation. The newspaper reported that Wang is wanted in Taiwan on charges related to money laundering and being a fugitive from justice, allegations he denies, and drew comparisons between Wang and the Russian banker Dmitry Leus. Investigation and cooperation with foreign authorities have found that Bruno Wang’s father, Andrew Wang (汪傳浦), had stashed proceeds from a scandal involving the procurement of Lafayette frigates in 61 bank accounts,
AT ODDS: The KMT called on the government to seek bilateral dialogue with Beijing to resolve the issue that led to the ban on custard apple and wax apple imports Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) officials and lawmakers yesterday condemned China’s sudden ban on imports of custard apples and wax apples from Taiwan as “obvious political retaliation,” while the opposition called for a scientific investigation into Beijing’s claim to have found pests in imports of the fruits. China earlier yesterday announced a ban on the importation of the two fruits from today, citing repeated discoveries of Planococcus minor, a type of mealybug. The announcement follows a similar ban on Taiwanese pineapples imposed in February. At least Beijing gave a few days’ notice when it banned pineapple imports, an unnamed government official said yesterday. This time
BY OTHER MEANS: China could see CPTPP membership as a means of circumventing trade restrictions imposed by the US, amid an ongoing trade dispute between them The US could invoke a clause in its trade agreement with Canada and Mexico to block China’s application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a government official said yesterday. Under Article 32.10 of the Exceptions and General Provisions of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), if either Canada or Mexico enter a free-trade agreement with a nonmarket economy — such as China — the US could withdraw from the agreement. “If that clause applies to multilateral free-trade agreements such as the CPTPP — which Mexico and Canada are members of — that might be cause for the two