DFA to countries issuing travel advisories: Exercise caution

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano has asked countries to exercise caution in issuing travel advisories on the Philippines following clashes in Marawi City and the Resorts World Manila incident.

Cayetano said travel advisories by embassies in Manila have affected the country’s tourism.

Although he did not disclose the countries he met with and discussed travel advisory on the Philippines, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) chief said he had talked to ambassadors of several countries.

“I told them how important it is to our tourism and the image of our country that accurate travel advisory be issued,” he said. 

“I told them we have no control (on what is happening) and the conclusion is theirs whether they quote the military or police or the DFA or whoever is accurate, but not just say sources.”

Cayetano noted that the problem in Marawi is not the situation in the entire country.

The United States, Australia and the United Kingdom have issued travel advisories to their citizens, warning them to be “very cautious” in their travel plans to the Philippines.

The three governments came out with advisories following the attack at Resorts World Manila in Pasay City on Friday.

Warning still up in NZ

Although no New Zealanders were killed or injured in Friday’s attack at the Resorts World hotel, the New Zealand embassy has confirmed that travel warning remains in place for Manila.

“My deepest condolences to the families and friends of all those who died in the terrible tragedy,” said New Zealand ambassador David Strachan.

Kiwi Richard Bradford, who lives in Manila, said it has been a “bad week” for the Philippines.

“We advise New Zealanders in Manila to remain vigilant,” the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said in a message to its citizens.

“New Zealanders with imminent travel plans are advised to make contact with their airline directly to see if their flight has been affected,” it said.

The New Zealand government’s travel advisory website, SafeTravel, warns travelers that there is “some risk” to personal security in Manila, “due to the threat of terrorism, risk of kidnapping and violent crime,” and advises caution. 

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