The Philippine government will not yet prohibit Filipinos from travelling to South Korea amid the tension in the Korean peninsula, Malacañang said on Saturday.
In a radio interview, deputy presidential spokesman Abigail Valte said that the Department of Foreign Affairs is “closely monitoring these developments even as we continue to call for restraint on both sides.”
According to the Philippine embassy in Seoul, there are 52,379 Filipinos living and working in South Korea.
Valte said that the Philippine Embassy in South Korea already has protocols in place in case Filipinos need to be evacuated.
“We had plans in place. I think this was sometime back in 2011 pa, early on in President [Benigno] Aquino’s term, when there was also a similar exchange of fire between the two. And na-activate naman po natin agad iyong ating evacuation protocols for our OFWs,” she said, adding the plans have been refined since then.
“So, it is just a matter of activating the protocol,” Valte added.
The Palace official also noted that there is good coordination between the embassy and the Filipino community in South Korea.
“So our first advice to them would be to follow the information that is disseminated to you by the embassy and to strictly adhere to these reminders because these reminders are also for our safety,” Valte said.