The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Wednesday raised crisis alert level 1 (precautionary phase) in South Africa because of recent xenophobic attacks in areas around that country.
Alert level 1 is raised when there are valid signs of internal disturbance, instability or external threat to the host country.
“The Philippines condemns the wave of violence aimed at foreign workers and joins the South African government and the international community in denouncing the aggression directed against foreigners during these three weeks of unrest, which has resulted in loss of lives and has divided communities,” the DFA said in a statement.
“The South African government and the international community must rise to the challenge and work harder to eliminate such senseless and brutal violence in multi-cultural and multi-ethnic communities,” it added.
The Philippine Embassy in Pretoria in South Africa advised the Filipino community there to remain cautious at all times.
There are about 900 Filipinos in South Africa.
Troops in South Africa are struggling to contain mobs in Johannesburg and KwaZulu-Natal in a bid to quell anti-immigrant violence that has killed at least seven people in several weeks of unrest.
The spate of attacks revived memories of xenophobic violence in 2008 when 62 people were killed in Johannesburg’s townships, shaking South Africa’s post-apartheid image as a nation of different ethnic groups.