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EXECUTIVE ORDERS

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EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 15


EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 15 - AUTHORIZING THE MANILA ECONOMIC AND CULTURAL OFFICE, INC. (“MECO”) TO PERFORM CERTAIN FUNCTIONS RELATING TO TRADE, ECONOMIC COOPERATION, INVESTMENT, AND CULTURAL, SCIENTIFIC AND EDUCATIONAL EXCHANGES
 


WHEREAS, pursuant to the terms of the Philippine-China Joint Communique dated June 9, 1975, the Government of the Republic of the Philippines recognized the Government of the People’s Republic of China as the sole government of China;

WHEREAS, friendly and unofficial relations with Taiwan, on a people-to-people basis, have been promoted by the Manila Economic and Cultural Office, Inc. (“MECO”), formerly named the Asian Exchange Center, Inc., a non-stock, non-profit corporation organized and existing under the laws of the Republic of the Philippines;

WHEREAS, it is desirable that people-to-people relations between the Philippines and Taiwan should continue and shall be facilitated by the private offices of MECO and its counterpart, the Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines;

WHEREAS, MECO, in addition to its corporate objectives, has been previously authorized to perform consular and other functions to promote and protect the rights and interests of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in Taiwan, to promote the Philippines as a tourist and investment destination for Taiwanese, and to facilitate the travel of Filipinos and Taiwanese from Taiwan to the Philippines, and vice versa;

WHEREAS, the aforementioned authority of MECO in the fields of trade, economic cooperation, investment, cultural, scientific and educational exchanges, and protection of OFWs is an important and sensitive duty, owing to the commitment of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines to a One-China Policy;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, PRESIDENT GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO, President of the Republic of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by law, do hereby order:

Section 1. Consistent with its corporate purposes and subject to the conditions stated in Sec. 3 hereof, MECO is hereby authorized to assist in the performance of the following functions:

1. Formulation and implementation of a program to attract and promote investments from Taiwan to Philippine industries and businesses, especially in manufacturing, tourism, construction and other preferred areas of investments; 

2. Promotion of the export of Philippine products and Filipino manpower services, including Philippine management services, to Taiwan;

3. Negotiation and/or assistance in the negotiation and conclusion of agreements or other arrangements concerning trade, investment, economic cooperation, technology transfer, banking and finance, scientific, cultural, educational and other modes of cooperative endeavors between the Philippines and Taiwan, on a people-to-people basis, in accordance with established rules and regulations;

4. Reporting on, and identification of, employment and business opportunities in Taiwan for the promotion of Philippine exports, manpower and management services, and tourism;

5. Dissemination in Taiwan of information on the Philippines, especially in the fields of trade, tourism, labor, economic cooperation, and cultural, educational and scientific endeavors;

6. Conduct of periodic assessment of market conditions in Taiwan, including submission of trade statistics and commercial reports for use of Philippine industries and businesses; and

7. Facilitation, fostering and cultivation of cultural, sports, social, and educational exchanges between the peoples of the Philippines and Taiwan.

Sec. 2. In addition to the above-mentioned authority and subject to the conditions stated in Sec. 3 hereof, MECO, through its branch offices in Taiwan, is hereby authorized to perform the following functions:

1. Issuance of temporary visitors’ visas and transit and crew list visas, and such other visa services as may be authorized by the Department of Foreign Affairs;

2. Issuance, renewal, extension or amendment of passports of Filipino citizens in accordance with existing regulations, and provision of such other passport services as may be required under the circumstances;

3. Certification or affirmation of the authenticity of documents submitted for authentication;

4. Providing translation services;

5. Assistance and protection to Filipino nationals and other legal/juridical persons working or residing in Taiwan, including making representations to the extent allowed by local and international law on their behalf before civil and juridical authorities of Taiwan; and  

6. Collection of reasonable fees on the first four (4) functions enumerated above to defray the cost of its operations.

Sec. 3. In view of the commitment of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines to a One-China Policy, MECO, in the exercise of the foregoing authority and functions, shall seek policy guidance from the Office of the President. MECO shall likewise submit a report on its operations relating to its authority and functions stated in Sections 1 and 2 hereof every quarter to the Office of the President. MECO is hereby authorized to assist in the formulation of a comprehensive action plan on Taiwan and to act as the coordinator of all Philippine activities concerning Taiwan.

Sec. 4. Executive Order No. 931 dated January 16, 1984 and Executive Order No. 490 dated June 26, 1998, as amended by Executive Order Nos. 4 and 229 dated July 17, 1998 and April 7, 2000, respectively, are hereby repealed. All orders, issuances, rules and regulations inconsistent with this Executive Order are hereby superseded, amended or modified accordingly. 

Sec. 5. This Executive Order shall take effect immediately.

City of Manila, May 16, 2001.
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