Taipei 101 is a supertall skyscraper located in Xinyi, Taipei, Taiwan
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DOLE seeks lifting of Taiwan travel ban
Gaea Katreena Cabico (Philstar.com) - February 13, 2020 - 6:55pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor has sought to lift the travel ban on Taiwan, which is affecting Filipinos who live and work in the island nation, mostly as factory workers and household help.

In a release Thursday, DOLE said Secretary Silvestre Bello has already asked the Department of Health to lift the temporary ban on departing overseas Filipino workers.

“For those affected by the travel ban in Taiwan, we ask for your patience and in a few days, there will be a review. While waiting for the lifting of the ban, we are providing financial assistance,” Bello said.

He said the stranded OFWs who are members of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration will receive financial aid worth P10,000, accommodation, food and transportation assistance.

The Labor chief also asked the workers to wait for the next three to five days.

“We hope for a possible lifting of the ban in a few days,” Bello said.

The Philippines first imposed travel restrictions on China and its special administrative regions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Taiwan was later on added in a move described by the country’s foreign ministry as “wrong and unilateral.”

Malacañang stressed Thursday that Taiwan’s inclusion in the expanded travel ban was due to the so-called “one China” policy. Beijing claims Taiwan—a self-ruled democracy—as its own and vowed to eventually take the island.

“Last night, the president said my primary concern is the health, the safety of our countrymen. Until the danger persists then we have to do what is necessary to secure their safety,” presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.

Taiwan reportedly has a planned response should the Philippines maintain its travel ban.

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