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Baseless kasi! Rodriguez urges Duterte to lift Taiwan travel ban

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez has joined other lawmakers in asking President Duterte to lift the ban on the entry of visitors coming from Taiwan.

Rodriguez said officials who recommended the prohibition should “rethink it.”

The travel ban was imposed by Malacañang as part of government efforts to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) but Rodriguez stressed that “the recommendation has no basis.”

“The World Health Organization report of countries with reported infections did not include Taiwan as of last Wednesday, February 12. There is no single case in our friendly neighbor in the north,” said Rodriguez.

He noted that the said travel ban also covers overseas Filipino workers in Taiwan, adding that OFWs who want to go home cannot do so, while those who are here for a short vacation or to visit their families cannot return to their jobs due to the travel restriction.

Rodriguez, a former Immigration commissioner during the Estrada administration, pointed out that there are 160,000 Filipinos in Taiwan, including those from Cagayan de Oro City and Misamis Oriental.

The solon called on the President to lift the restriction immediately.

Taipei earlier reportedly has threatened to retaliate if the ban were not scrapped.

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