Manila to improve service to Taiwanese businesses


MANILA — The government of the Philippines will improve its services to Taiwanese businesses and is making the country a better place for Taiwanese investors, the head of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) said yesterday.

Amadeo Perez Jr., a seasoned congressman who was appointed as MECO’s chairman only two months ago, said that President Benigno Aquino III welcomes Taiwanese citizens to make leisure trips, do business or make investments in the Philippines.

MECO is the quasi-official body authorized by the Philippine government to handle exchanges between the Philippines and Taiwan in the absence of formal diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Perez said that topping his priority list were the protection of the interests of Taiwanese citizens maintaining business operations in the Philippines and making sure they were accorded equally good and fair treatment as that received by Philippine citizens.

The former politician who was mayor of Urdaneta City for three terms said that since assuming the MECO chairmanship he has been busy meeting Taiwanese business leaders operating in the Philippines to hear their opinions and suggestions.

Perez said the Philippine government will spare no effort in protecting Taiwanese people’s personal safety, but admitted the image of his country had been seriously tarnished when a disgruntled Filipino policeman held hostage a busful of Hong Kong tourists in August.

He stressed that incidents of this kind were extremely rare, however, and that Philippine law enforcement authorities had learned a bloody lesson and had already started improving related equipment and training.