In efforts to promote the new Southbound Policy, newly minted premier Lai Ching-te has approved a plan for a visa waiver program for citizens of the Philippines good for 14 days or fewer. This was according to Minister without portfolio Chang Ching-sen. The earliest possible implementation is said to be in October.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be releasing more details in the near future, regarding when the plan will be put into action and how the new program will be implemented.
There was a previous plan to have the visa waiver program up by June 1st of 2017, but this plan was postponed. The official reason was that there needed to be more time to complete the inter agency coordination and other relevant procedures. Later the plan was postponed again as the Philippines’ President Duterte put the city of Marawi under marshal law following terrorist attacks.
The latest meeting held by MOFA in mid September cleared up the last of the questions and the policy was sent to the executive yuan for approval. This is just one of the many steps the government is taking to deepen its relationships with its neighbors to the South and bolster its soft power in the region.