Travelers from Taiwan 'cause trouble' in Cebu airport after quarantine confusion

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 12 2020 07:47 PM | Updated as of Feb 12 2020 08:03 PM

Dozens of travelers from Taiwan "caused trouble" in the Mactan-Cebu International Airport on Wednesday by initially refusing to be placed under a 14-day quarantine. James Tizon

LAPU-LAPU, Cebu - Around 78 travelers from Taiwan "caused trouble" in the Mactan-Cebu International Airport on Wednesday after initially refusing to be placed under a 14-day quarantine, which was imposed on them upon arrival in the country, an official said. 

Mactan-Cebu International Airport General Manager Steve Dicdican said the passengers, Filipinos and foreigners, lashed out after they learned of their quarantine since they were not briefed prior to their arrival.

The travelers eventually calmed down after they accepted the quarantine, which is imposed on passengers from mainland China and its special administrative regions hit by COVID-19. Dicdican said they will be asking for additional security as they expect more resistance from travelers coming from Taiwan.

Taiwan is an independently governed territory but the Philippines considers it part of China under the one-China policy.

On Monday, the Bureau of Immigration ordered the Taiwan travel ban, which followed the same procedures as in the previously announced restriction that covered China and its Special Administrative Regions Hong Kong and Macau.

Filipinos and foreigners with permanent resident visas may be allowed entry but will be turned over to the Bureau of Quarantine for assessment, Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente had said. 

Taipei lamented Philippines' decision and said it was considering "retaliatory measures" if Manila would not immediately lift its inclusion in the travel ban, according to Angelito Banayo, chairman of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office in Taiwan. -- With a report from Jude Torres, ABS-CBN News