UK envoy clarifies travel advisory to Mindanao

MANILA MalacaAang on Thursday said the UK government has clarified the travel advisory it issued to Mindanao.

British Ambassador to the Philippines Daniel Pruce, in a letter to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, explained that while it did not change its advisory since 2017, it merely issued an update in the wake of the bomb attack in Cotabato City last December 31.

In the light of recent media reporting, I wanted to clarify that the UK has not recently changed its travel advice for the Philippines. Indeed, our current advice against all travel to Western Mindanao and all but essential travel to Eastern Mindanao and Southern Cebu has not changed since January of 2017. We did publish a factual update on December 31, 2018 recording the blast in Cotabato City, Pruce said in a letter to Panelo.

Pruce explained that the UK government regularly made such factual updates to their travel advice, but stressed that it is not the same as a change in the level of advice.

Globally the UK keeps its travel advice under close review taking into account a wide range of factors with the intention of giving British nationals the best possible guidance, Pruce said.

In a Palace briefing, Panelo said Pruce implied that it is only some members of media who presented the travel advisory in such a way that it is too dangerous to travel to Mindanao.

Earlier, Panelo assured the international community that it is still safe to travel to Mindanao amid international security warnings issued in the Cotabato City bomb attack.

Panelo said it was natural for any government to be concerned for the welfare and the safety of their citizens.

He also emphasized that the bomb attack, which killed two persons and wounded 34 others, is an isolated case.

Department of National Defense (DND) spokesperson Arsenio Andolong said there is nothing new with the advisories since governments regularly issue them to their citizens who are overseas. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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