The Philippines is willing to accept war refugees, most of them from conflict-torn Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Charles Jose, Foreign Affairs spokesman, said that the Philippines, as a signatory to the 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, is committed to extend a hand to war refugees.
“We have commitments and we will abide by those commitments but under the UN framework. It would be a multilateral undertaking,” he said in a press briefing.
The Philippines once opened its doors to Vietnamese and Russian refugees, and had even offered to help the Rohingya people, a minority group in Myanmar who were politically persecuted.
The refugee crisis in Europe and the Middle East has cracked open European governments’ inaction in extending humanitarian help during the crisis.
The United Nations says half of the refugees have fled Syria, where anti-government protests that erupted in March 2011 have spiraled into a complex civil war that has killed more than 240,000 people.
The crisis has brought to light deep-seated views on race, religion and even humanitarian aid as some European nations shunned the refugees while others like Germany and United Kingdom welcomed to take in 20,000 of the refugees over the course of five years.
But it won’t be that easy for these refugees to reach the Philippines, Jose said, adding the problem should “be addressed at its source.”
“The international community should help the countries where these refugees are coming,” the official said.
As the desperate plight of migrants touches hearts around the world, Britain, France and even South American countries have pledged to accept tens of thousands of refugees crossing the EU’s frontiers almost every day.
Venezuela said it would accept 20,000—the same number that Britain has promised to take over five years—while Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff declared migrants would be welcomed there with “open arms”, and Chile’s leader Michelle Bachelet said it “was working to take a large number”.
Canada’s Quebec province also said it will take 3,650 this year.
Germany, Europe’s top eco¬nomy, has said it can take some 500,000 refugees annually for a few years, with Chancellor Angela Merkel saying the influx would result in profound change in the country.