Statement of MECO Chairman and Resident Representative Angelito T. Banayo
In light of the sentiments of some members of the Filipino community in Taiwan to the operational changes implemented by the Manila Economic and Cultural Office due to the COVID 19 pandemic, the Philippines representative office would like to assure the public that it is doing its best to attend to its duties amid the global crisis.
MECO is taking all these criticisms and comments, harsh as they may be, constructively while striving to adapt to the new normal.
While it is true that Taiwan’s response to the situation is less strict, it does not automatically mean that the transacting public is safe from the virus. Our compressed work week schedule remains temporary to adhere to the Taiwan’s government regulations including the prohibition of mass or large gatherings of people.
Our operations during the first and third Sundays of the month were suspended since it attracts a big number of people wanting to transact in the office, which is deemed as a violation of existing anti-COVID 19 protocols.
Rest assured that alternating Sunday operations will resume as soon as the Taiwan government relaxes such restriction.
On the alleged rude behavior of some personnel, the public is encouraged to file the necessary complaint through a simple letter directly addressed to the Office of the Managing Director regarding such transgressions.
MECO, as an institution, has procedures in dealing with erring staff members and these can only be set in motion through the filing of an appropriate complaint.
Nevertheless, all staff members have been sternly reminded to adhere to the highest standard of professional conduct and courtesy in dealing with the transacting public.
On the other hand, the public is also advised to plan and study their purpose of going and transacting with MECO to avoid unnecessary questions and delays in the processing of their documents.
On the delay in the release of passports, MECO has no direct hand in the production of processed and approved passport applications. Its passport inventory depends on what the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila sends to Taipei.
Since DFA operations in Manila were also affected by the community quarantine imposed by the national government, it only follows that passport production experienced delays.
This week, however, more than 3000 passports arrived and we are working hard to process and possibly release them at the soonest time possible.
MECO’s commitment to the Filipino community in Taiwan remains steadfast, but it also has to employ necessary measures to ensure that it continues to exist for the public it wishes to serve.
The public’s understanding and cooperation would be highly appreciated.
27 May 2020