Date: February 14, 2020
By: Philippine Daily Inquirer
President Rodrigo Duterte rejected on Thursday Taiwan’s appeal to lift a ban on its citizens visiting the Philippines, saying his primary concern was the safety of Filipinos.
Taiwan said it was considering countermeasures if the Philippines did not lift the ban it imposed on Monday to contain the spread of a new coronavirus that had emerged in China, but Mr. Duterte, according to his spokesperson Salvador Panelo, had decided that the restriction stays “until the danger persists.”
“My primary concern is the health and safety of our countrymen,” Panelo quoted Mr. Duterte as saying.
On Feb. 2, the government banned all travel to and from China and its two administrative regions—Hong Kong and Macau—as a precautionary measure against the spread of the virus to the Philippines. Late on Monday, however, the Department of Health (DOH) said the ban covered Taiwan, following the Philippines’ One China policy, which recognizes China and considers Taiwan a Chinese province. [FULL STORY]