Panelo: Duterte to look into Taiwan appeal to remove them from travel ban

Published February 12, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Genalyn Kabiling

President Duterte is expected to look into Taiwan’s appeal for reconsideration of its inclusion in the travel ban over the spread of the new coronavirus.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo (OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo (OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)

Presidential Spokesperson Savaldor Panelo recognized the concern raised by Taiwan on the travel restriction and promised to tell the President.

“We will relay to the President the request of certain quarters to reconsider the travel ban to Taiwan,” Panelo said in an interview with reporters at the Palace Wednesday.

“They are saying that they are not affected by the virus, that’s one and the reason why we are effecting travel ban because we are trying to protect our countrymen from the infected. If there is no infection there, we will give it to the President”

The Philippine government earlier announced that foreign nationals from Taiwan are also prohibited from entering the country over the coronavirus threat. The decision was reportedly based on the World Health Organization’s policy recognizing Taiwan as part of China.

Manila earlier imposed a temporary ban on China and its special administrative regions to prevent the spread of the disease. Filipinos have also been prevented from visiting these places for their safety and protection.

Read more: BI extends travel ban to include tourists from Taiwan

The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in Manila has called on the Philippine government to reverse its decision on Taiwan and remove it from the travel ban. The office insisted that Taiwan is a sovereign state and not part of China.

Read more: TECO urges PH gov’t to reverse travel ban on Taiwan

Panelo admitted that the travel restriction on Taiwan might be due to the observance of the one-China policy. “Anyway, we will tell the President about it,” he said.

He denied reports that Taiwan has warned of retaliatory moves over the country’s travel ban.