By Jun Ramirez

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has implemented the lifting of the travel ban to Taiwan imposed last week to restrain the spread of the corona virus disease-19 (COVID-19)

BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said he has instructed air and sea ports immigration personnel to allow foreign and Filipino travelers to enter Taipei from Manila and vice versa.

“We received the other day an order from the Office of the President lifting the travel restrictions, following.the decision of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Infectious Disease (IATF) revoking the ban,” Morente said.

The ban drew strong protests from Taiwan government which warned of retaliatory action as well as Filipino and Taiwanese businessmen and thousands of Filipinos working there.

The Philippines is currently implementing a travel ban to foreign nationals coming from China and its Special Administrative Regions (SAR) which are Hong Kong and Macao.

China considers Taiwan as one of its province.

Only Filipinos and permanent resident visa holders are allowed to enter the Philippines from China and SAR.

Filipinos, on the other hand, are temporarily barred from traveling to these areas.

Morente said the IATF was already studying the possibility of lifting the travel ban in certain areas in China, and “we are on standby, ready to implement any policy change as deemed appropriate by the IATF.”