Bertiz said had the ban not been taken back, it would have displaced Filipino workers who were due to return to work in Taiwan after a vacationing here at home, as well as rehired or newly hired workers bound for the self-administered state.
AFP/Nicolas Asfouri
OFW group hails lifting of travel ban to Taiwan
Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon (The Freeman) - February 17, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — The ACTS-OFW Coalition of Organizations yesterday welcomed the Philippine government’s lifting of its coronavirus-related travel ban on Taipei, saying the move demonstrated President Rodrigo Duterte’s “sensitivity to the plight of Filipino workers in Taiwan.”

“The removal of the two-way travel restriction is a big relief to thousands of Filipinos workers in Taiwan who just want to earn a decent living despite the coronavirus scare,” said ACTS-OFW chairperson Aniceto Bertiz III in a statement.

Bertiz said had the ban not been taken back, it would have displaced Filipino workers who were due to return to work in Taiwan after a vacationing here at home, as well as rehired or newly hired workers bound for the self-administered state.

"We were also worried that had the ban been kept, the Taiwanese government might retaliate in a manner that would threaten the jobs of Filipino workers there, including future employment opportunities,” he said.

The Philippines’ Inter-agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases announced Friday the scrapping of the two-way travel prohibition between Manila and Taipei.

Without counting money coursed through non-bank and informal channels, Bertiz said Filipino workers in Taiwan sent home via the banking system a total of $538.5 million from January to November 2019, up 2.9 percent from $523.3 million in the same 11-month period in 2018.

Berliz said citing data from the the Department of Tourism, a total of 305,570 vacationers from Taiwan also visited the Philippines from January to November 2019, up 37.07 percent from 222,934 in the same nine-month period in 2018. (FREEMAN)

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