Taiwanese stranded in Philippines as Manila enforces overnight ban

Passengers are seen at Manila International Airport in this photo taken on Feb. 11, 2020. (CNA)

TAIPEI (The China Post/ANN) — The Philippines have officially barred Taiwanese travelers’ entry since late last night, almost immediately after its representative in Taiwan tried to reassure local authorities.

In an order signed by the Executive Director of the Philippines’ Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) Carmelo Arcilla dated Feb. 10, it asserted that the travel ban announced on Feb.2 “includes Taiwan under the One China Policy.”

Airlines are to “fully implement the temporary travel ban restricting the entry into the Philippines of the following persons coming from China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan,” the order reads.

This image shows the order signed by Executive Director of the Philippines' Civil Aeronautics Board on banning Taiwanese entry on Feb. 10, 2020. (Courtesy of Mimi Hsin Hsuan Sun.)
This image shows the order signed by Executive Director of the Philippines’ Civil Aeronautics Board on banning Taiwanese entry on Feb. 10, 2020. (Courtesy of Mimi Hsin Hsuan Sun.)

Local media reported that near 150 Taiwanese are currently stranded at the customs.

The decision came after Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA, 外交部) debunked a day earlier foreign reports that quoted the Philippine Department of Health spokesperson Eric Domingo as saying that Taiwan is included in a temporary travel restriction and ban on China because it considered by the World Health Organization as part of the East Asian giant.

The Chairman and Resident Representative of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) in Taiwan Angelito Banayo debunked such reports, saying in a message conveyed to its Taiwanese counterpart provided by MOFA spokesperson Joanne Ou (歐江安) that “the statement made by a Health Undersecretary, Dr. Eric Domingo, is not an official position.”

MOFA is set to hold a press conference in Taipei in the morning to address the issue.

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