The embassies in Manila of the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom have expressed that their respective recent travel advisories on the Philippines have “not changed” for the worse since a year ago, contrary to perceptions in the media.
(The Philippines News Agency is not among the media outlets that reported about such a threat or if the advisories upgraded the previous “general alert” status.)
According to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the four foreign embassies gave assurance that their “assessment of the level of threat in their travel advisories on the Philippines has not changed and remain the same as before.”
The travel advisories generally asked their respective citizens to be aware of some danger in parts of the Philippines and to refrain from visiting those areas, if possible.
Australia, for example, includes warnings against landslides and typhoons and the possibility of being stranded in places because of inadequate inter-island transportation during the monsoon season.
DFA spokesperson Eduardo J. Malaya said the four embassies were responding to an earlier note verbale DFA had sent them separately in which it sought clarification on their travel advisories that were interpreted and reported by the press as tending to be alarmist.
Malaya said that the note verbale “reiterated the request for an expedited sharing of any information on possible terrorist threat.”
“The central challenge is to give all the information necessary to protect the public and at the same time try not to frighten people unreasonably,” Malaya said on Sunday, at the height of the news uproar.
“Filipinos can go about their business normally, with the knowledge that our police and security agencies are hard at work,” he added.
The DFA also wrote to the French and Canadian embassies about their own travel advisories but both have apparently not yet responded as of press time.