DFA: PH embassies abroad should update contingency plans

By , on August 15, 2017

 Cayetano said the joint communiqué is a “negotiated document” agreed by all member states. (PNA PHOTO)
FILE: Senator Alan Cayetano (PNA PHOTO)

Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has instructed all embassies abroad to update their contingency plans and ensure the safety of Filipinos on Tuesday.

With the rise of tensions between the United States of America (USA) and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) after President Donald Trump and Korean Leader Kim Jong Un’s exchanged threats, and the latter’s plan on Guam, the DFA has prioritized leading Filipinos out of harm’s way, given that the country sends Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and migrants to different parts of the globe.

In the agency’s statement, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano gave the instructions to all Philippine embassies abroad, particularly those in or near conflict areas.

He mentioned that the country should make sure that it is ‘always ready to respond quickly and effectively.’

“Our people all over the world are counting on us to lead them to safety in case worse comes to worst,” Cayetano said.

He added “It is thus important to make sure that all our contingency plans are regularly reviewed and updated.”

The Philippine Consulate General in Agana raised the alert level to Alert Level I in Guam, after DPRK’s threats to launch a nuclear missile against American territory.

However, Cayetano clarified that this is not all about North Korea and USA. “In addition to the Korean Peninsula, there are tensions in other parts of the world, including in the Middle East, that could affect our nationals,” Secretary Cayetano said.

There are an estimated 10 million Filipinos around the world, including 2 million in the Middle East as well as 65,000 in South Korea and 42,835 in Guam.