Press Release
February 14, 2020


Senator Richard J. Gordon has called upon the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to reconsider the ban on Taiwanese coming to the Philippines and Filipinos travelling to Taiwan.

"The people of Taiwan have been long-time friends of the Philippines. The two peoples have long-standing cultural and economic ties. Some Taiwanese people have made the Philippines their homes and many Taiwanese businesses have opened investments here. There is no justifiable reason to include the Taiwanese in the travel ban", Gordon said.

To stress the point of Taiwanese confidence in the investment climate in the Philippines, Gordon stressed that in October of last year, a Taiwanese company launched the P15-billion Tipo Hightech Eco Park project in Subic which sought to develop a 200-hectare property to accommodate light industrial factories, commercial facilities, high-end residential buildings and a nature park. He also pointed out that even in tourism, the Philippines has benefitted from Taiwan, with 241,000 Taiwanese tourists arriving here in 2018, with more than 60 percent of them here on a repeat visit.

Gordon also pointed out that the lone manufacturer of face masks and other personal protective equipment that donated face masks is a Taiwanese firm.

He also mentioned that the Philippines is the third largest source of overseas workers to Taiwan, with a total of 157,487 Filipino migrant workers deployed there as of the end of 2019.

The good Senator from Olongapo expressed his concern on the adverse impact that a travel ban against the Taiwanese could have on our country and our people.

"This travel ban may imperil the hundreds of thousands of Filipino workers in Taiwan, jeopardize the economic initiatives already started here and affect our tourism industry," Gordon said.

"It would certainly affect our people to people relationship", he added.

He called on the government to reconsider the inclusion of the Taiwanese in the travel ban.

"While there may be may 18 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Taiwan, it is not really among the countries badly hit by the disease, which is why no other countries in Asia, aside from the Philippines, issued a travel ban against it. We should reconsider for humanitarian considerations. It would be unfair if the ban was imposed because we fear China," Gordon explained.

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