DFA raises alert level 1 in Guam, Northern Marianas
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced on Tuesday, August 15, that it has raised alert level 1 over Guam and the Northern Marianas as tensions rise in the Korean Peninsula.
Under alert level 1, the DFA urges overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to closely monitor the news even as they go on with their normal activities.
This alert level covers nearly 70,000 Filipinos in Guam and the Northern Marianas, a group of islands that includes Saipan.
"This means that the situation is still developing and that Filipino nationals are encouraged to closely monitor the news from reliable media outlets and official advisories from the government of Guam, and other US authorities, as well as the Philippine Consulate General in Guam," the DFA said in a statement on Tuesday.
"Filipinos are encouraged to go about their daily business as usual, as the situation in Guam remains normal," the DFA added.
Based on government estimates, more than 42,800 Filipinos live in Guam while 26,700 live in the Northern Marianas.
The Philippines' warning comes after North Korea on August 9 threatened to launch a missile strike near Guam. On Tuesday, North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un said he would hold off on this planned missile strike, but warned he will pursue this if Washington makes "reckless actions."
Before this, US President Donald Trump said Pyongyang faces "fire and fury" over its missile program – the statement that prompted North Korea to threaten areas around Guam.
This "level of rhetoric" between the US and North Korea prompted the Philippines to raise alert level 1 in Guam and the Northern Marianas, said DFA spokesman Robespierre Bolivar.
Bolivar described alert level 1 as a call for "a heightened monitoring of developments."
On its website, the DFA explains that it has 4 alert levels for Filipinos overseas:
- alert level 1 - precautionary phase
- alert level 2 - restriction phase, where the DFA advises OFWs to limit "non-essential movements" and to prepare for evacuation if needed
- alert level 3 - voluntary repatriation phase
- alert level 4 - evacuation/mandatory repatriation phase
The DFA said Filipinos can reach the Philippine Consulate General in Guam through the following address and contact details:
Suite 601 ITC Building,
590 S. Marine Corps Drive
(near Guam Premier Outlets)
corner Chalan San Antonio
Telephone nos.: (671) 646-4620 and (671) 646-4630
24-Hour Hotline: (671) 488-4630
Fax no.: (671) 649-1868
Email Address: email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
Mailing Address: PO Box 9880, Tamuning, Guam 96931
While monitoring the situation in Guam, the DFA said it has also ordered all Philippine embassies to review and update their contingency plans, "to ensure that these could lead Filipinos out of harm's way." – Rappler.com