Taiwan-Philippines Relations

The Representative Office of
The Republic Of China (Taiwan):
Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines
Address: 41st Floor, Tower 1, RCBC Plaza
6819 Ayala Avenue, Makati City
Metro Manila, Philippines
TEL: (63-2) 8887-6688
Emergency Tel (63) 917-8194597
FAX: (63-2) 8887-7679
Name of the Representative: Mr. Michael Peiyung Hsu
EMAIL: phl@mofa.gov.tw
URL: http://www.taiwanembassy.org/ph
Bilateral Relations : Taiwan and the Philippines are not only geographically close to each other, more importantly, both also share common values of freedom, democracy, free media, rule of law, civil society, and similar Austronesian culture. In addition, Taiwanese and Filipinos share common traits of being friendly, optimistic, courteous, caring, and hardworking.As the Philippines is poised for high and sustained growth and its market has become one of the most prosperous ASEAN markets, it has been prioritized by the ROC (Taiwan) as the gateway to ASEAN countries in the “New Southbound Policy.”Based on the “New Southbound Policy,” Taiwan hopes to  strengthen cooperation with the Philippines in various fields not only in trade and investment, agriculture, fisheries aquaculture, technology, small and medium enterprises, Information and Communication Technology, green technology, climate change, but also in education, culture, as well as people to people interactions and exchanges. Taiwanese and Filipinos are actually living in a regional community. If Taiwan and the Philippines work in partnership, both surely can benefit.In 2017, Taiwan and the Philippines two-way trade has increased by $1.1 billion amounting to $11.97 billion, as compared to $10.87 billion in 2016. Further, in order to strengthen the business ties with the Philippines, Taiwan has already established seven banks in the Philippines.Taiwan and the Philippines maintain close cooperation not only in economics and trade, investment, technology, agriculture, fishery, law enforcement, labor affairs, but also in tourism, education, culture, and frequent people-to-people engagement. Among these collaboration areas, tourism is an important element in promoting people-to-people understanding. In 2018, visitor arrivals from the Philippines reached 419,105, an increase of 128,357 from 2017 (290,748). Meanwhile, visitor arrivals from Taiwan to the Philippines reached 240,840, an increase of 4,840 as compared with 236,000 in 2017.The tourism market’s strong recovery has shown the positive effect since the ROC (Taiwan) government granted Philippine nationals visa-free entry to Taiwan for up to 14 days starting from November 1, 2017. This privilege is a display of Taiwan’s efforts of the “New Southbound Policy” to build closer people-to-people exchange of visits. The ROC (Taiwan) has extended its trial period of visa-free privileges to the Philippines until July 31, 2020.

Apart from Taiwan’s thriving trade with the Philippines, Taiwan is the host to more than 150,000 Filipino workers, who are fairly treated and well protected by the law in Taiwan. They are guaranteed by the ROC (Taiwan) national minimum wage required by law and receive exactly the same national health insurance as the ROC (Taiwan) nationals do. As Taiwan is a peaceful and safe place, Filipinos are fairly fond of Taiwan and consider Taiwan as their “second home.”

There are also approximately 8,000 Filipinos who are married with Taiwanese. Most of them fell in love at work. Meanwhile, the Taiwanese also thank them for their hard work and contribution toward the economic development in Taiwan.

“A friend in need is a friend indeed.” Whenever there are natural calamities in the Philippines, Taiwan has always proved to be a genuine friend as one of the first countries to extend humanitarian assistances.

In 2013, When Typhoon Yolanda (Typhoon Haiyan) struck the Philippines, Taiwan government donated more than US$12 million to the Philippine Typhoon victims. Taiwan’s Tzu Chi Foundation has built over 1,500 permanent houses, and restored a local Catholic church and set up a new school and a clinic for the families affected by Typhoon Yolanda.

In 2016, when Typhoon Meranti hit Batanes, TECO in the Philippines, on behalf of the ROC (Taiwan) government, also donated 1 million pesos for the relief work to residents who suffered a heavy loss by the typhoon.

When Typhoon Haimai struck Cagayan in 2016, TECO in the Philippines again, on behalf of the ROC (Taiwan) government, donated 5 million pesos together with 2,300 bags of Taiwan rice (each bag weighs 20kg) for Cagayan Province, and extra 500,000 pesos and 700 bags of rice to Aparri for the typhoon affected residents. The total donations worth approximately 14 million pesos (including rice).

Taiwan’s timely donation is indeed a testimony of solid and robust Taiwan-Philippine relationship that has been growing stronger over the years.

Looking ahead, in the time of a new era for Taiwan and the Philippines and as Taiwan is implementing the “New Southbound Policy” to strengthen its relations with the Philippines, both countries should expand and strengthen multifaceted cooperation and partnership, including more people-to-people engagement and interaction. By doing so, both countries will benefit from the continued growth of bilateral relationship.