Taipei, Feb. 22 (CNA) The Taiwanese government on Tuesday called on the Philippines to recognize the COVID-19 vaccination certificate it issued amid confusion over new entry rules for foreign nationals established by the country of ‘South East Asia.
The call came in response to complaints from Taiwanese nationals that they still had to be quarantined upon arrival in the Philippines because it did not recognize their Taiwan-issued vaccination certificates.
MOFA spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) said Taiwan‘s representative office in Manila had already conveyed the government’s position in Manila that its Ministry of Health had issued the certificate, known locally as small yellow card, based on the International Health Regulations.
The certificate has been recognized by other countries around the world, she said, and called on authorities in the Philippines to do the same.
The Philippines announced on January 27 its decision to lift a nearly two-year ban on foreign tourists and allow travelers who hold a vaccination certificate and test negative for the virus to enter the country without need to self-quarantine, starting February 1.
Based on this announcement, on January 28, Taiwan’s MOFA said in a statement that Taiwanese with government-issued vaccination certificates could visit the Southeast Asian country without having to undergo at forty.
But it was unclear whether Taiwan’s vaccination certificate met the standard of proof of vaccination in the Philippines’ January 27 guidelines.
One of the acceptable options, according to the document, was a “national/state digital certificate from the foreign government that has accepted VaxCertPH under a reciprocal agreement”, with VaxCertPH the Philippine agency that manages certificates of vaccination.
Ou said the Philippines has not responded to Taiwan’s request so far, but called on Taipei to mutually recognize each other’s digital vaccination certificate, adding that the ministry forwarded the request to the Central of Epidemic. Taiwan Command Center (CECC).
The Philippines’ representative office in Taiwan — the Manila Economic and Cultural Office — echoed Ou, telling CNA that MECO and Taiwan’s office in the Philippines are working on mutual acceptance of the digital vaccination certificate from the Philippines. other.
He said there had been technical difficulties earlier, without specifying what they were, but they had been resolved, and said he was awaiting official word from the Taiwan Ministry of Health and from the Philippine Department of Health.
Before Manila recognized Taipei’s vaccination records, MOFA asked its nationals to book quarantine hotels for six days in the Philippines when visiting the country, even if they have already been fully vaccinated, according to Ou .
Opposition Kuomintang (KMT) lawmaker Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) said he received a number of complaints from Taiwanese businessmen visiting the Philippines after Feb. in quarantine despite presenting their vaccination card on arrival.
They were angry that MOFA and the Taiwan representative office did not do their job in consulting with their Philippine counterparts and wondered why Taiwan’s vaccination records are not recognized in Manila.