• Government to work for tourism recovery – MECO

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    The Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) on Friday urged the government to boost the country’s tourism amidst Taiwan’s removal of freeze hiring for overseas Filipino workers.

    MECO’s representative Antonio Basillo noted that though there has been a decline in tourism, the country would recover because of its positive relations with Taiwan, citing that some Taiwanese tourists cancelled their flights and hotel reservations after the shooting incident between the Philippine Coast Guard and Taiwanese fishermen last May, where 65-year-old Hung Shih-Cheng was killed.

    Along with MECO Chairman Amadeo Perez and MECO Director Manuel Dima-culangan, Basillo went to Taipei on Thursday to send President Benigno Aquino 3rd’s formal apology for Hung Shih-Cheng’s death. Taiwan has then lifted its sanctions on Filipino workers, and visa processing has also begun.

    “The Taiwanese employers were quite so happy, satisfied, and grateful with the lifting of sanctions because Filipino workers were highly favored in Taiwan for their dedication to work,” Basillo added. He also said that the Taiwanese government supported the National Bureau of Investigation’s findings, which led to homicide charges against the eight coast guards responsible for the killing of the fisherman.

    With the ties between Taiwan and the Philippines restored, the government should now concentrate on improving and strengthening the bilateral relations between both countries, Basillo pointed out.

    Angelo Tong, president of the Pilipino Manpower Agencies Accredited to Taiwan, Inc. said “the resumption of ties and the subsequent removal of the freeze hiring augur well for thousands of workers who were not able to leave for their jobsites in Taiwan,” and that once deployment resumes, “more Filipino workers will be sent to good paying jobs.”

    Benjie Vergara

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