Implementation of visa-free entry to Taiwan postponed
The implementation of visa-free entry to Taiwan for Filipinos, which was supposed to start on June 1, was postponed, according to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in the Philippines.
In an advisory posted on its website, the TECO said the implementation was postponed "in order to complete relevant administrative procedures and inter-agency coordination."
Dr. Gary Song-Huann Lin, Representative of the ROC (Taiwan) to the Philippines, said Taiwan is "really making efforts" to welcome more Filipinos to Taiwan as the Philippines is considered "an important partner."
Lin added that the "postponement of the visa-free arrangements is only intended to conduct seamless operations, facilitate the entry to Taiwan, and enhance security and safety for everyone."
TECO said Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) is expected to release the full details of the implementation of the visa-free arrangement in September 2017 "or at an appropriate date."
The details would include the exact date of the commencement of implementing the visa-free treatment and its requirements, the TECO said.
In the meantime, Filipinos are advised to apply for either free Travel Authorization Certification (TAC), a single entry e-visa worth NTD1,632, or a visa stamped in the passport — P2,400 for a single entry and P4,800 for multiple entries.
Filipinos issued Taiwanese visas, except for those issued with labor visas with remarks "FL" or "X," over the last 10 years may apply for TAC, which would allow multiple entries to Taiwan, for free.
With the move, Taiwan's government hopes to fulfill its "New Southbound Policy" of forging closer trade and economic ties with countries in South and Southeast Asia.
Had it pushed through, Filipinos who have never worked in Taiwan as a blue collar worker, and those who hold valid visas or permanent resident cards of USA, Canada, Japan, United Kingdom, Schengen, Australia and New Zealand would have been able to enjoy visa-free access to Taiwan for up to 30 days.
The present setup started in September last year. —KBK, GMA News