By Joseph Almer Pedrajas

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has welcomed the decision made by the Philippine government to lift the ban on Taiwan, which was initially included in the list of countries banned for travel over concerns on the spread of COVID-2019.

On her Facebook page, the Taiwanese leader said late Friday night (local time) that they “approve of the Filipino government’s decision.” She also expressed her gratitude.

“I want to thank all of our friends in the Philippines who spoke up for Taiwan,” Tsai said.

The temporary ban on Taiwan was lifted by the Philippine Inter-agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases early Friday night after it was established that the latter has been implementing very strict and excellent protocols in handing travelers.

The Task Force underscored the need to review on a regular basis how the Philippines’ source countries heighten precautionary measures and implement stricter protocols to contain the spread of COVID-19.

“The Philippines is one of Taiwan’s closest neighbors, and we will continue working to foster closer bilateral relations,” Tsai said.

The Taiwanese President also assured Filipinos working, studying and traveling in Taiwan that they will continue their efforts to prevent the disease from entering its borders.

“There is no cause for worry as long as you comply with prevention guidelines,” Tsai said.

Read more: Taiwan travel ban lifted