TECO: Await Taipei’s visa announcement
DFA: It is good to be reminded that the decision to grant or refuse a visa is the sole prerogative of the issuing country, embassy, or consulate as guided by its visa regulations
Taiwan’s Representative to the Philippines Michael Peiyung Hsu on Thursday urged Filipinos to just wait for an official pronouncement from his government on the visa-waiver privilege that may be extended anew to foreigners soon.
Hsu told Daily Tribune to “wait further for the announcement” of its Bureau of Consular Affairs or BoCA, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
TECO’s statement came as Taiwan Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jeanette Ou clarified that the visa waivers for qualified Asian states would be reviewed in their next round of discussions.
The visa waivers were merely put on hold, she said. “Most of the (discussions on the) Asian countries haven’t been resumed just yet, but I am sure they will be in our next round of considerations,” she said.
On Thursday, Manila Economic and Cultural Office head Silvestro Bello III denied reports that Taiwan has temporarily suspended the visa-free privilege for Filipinos.
“When I received the report, I immediately talked with their ambassador (Hsu) and what he said was clear, that it was not true,” Bello said in Filipino in a radio interview.
“His (Hsu’s) explanation was that it’s possible that there was a misunderstanding on its announcement that Taiwan is offering visa-free entry to countries in Europe, the United States, United Kingdom, [and] Canada without mentioning the Philippines,” Bello said.
“We are still enjoying the visa-free entry to Taiwan,” Bello claimed.
But as the TECO representative told this paper, it would be best to wait for the announcement from Taipei itself.
Responding to media queries on the matter, Department of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Ambassador Ma. Teresita Dasa intimated the need not to put the wagon before the horse.
“It is good to be reminded that the decision to grant or refuse a visa is the sole prerogative of the issuing country, embassy, or consulate as guided by its visa regulations,” Daza added.
“The issuing authority also has no obligation to explain its decision,” she explained.
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