PH may accept Afghan refugees – Locsin
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines would only accept refugees from Afghanistan under a government-to-government arrangement, according to Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr.
At the House hearing on the 2022 budget of the Department of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday, Locsin said the Philippines was ready to accept refugees and asylum seekers but the government would not deal with the private sector.
“For asylum seekers and refugees, the Philippines will continue to extend assistance in line with its long tradition of timely and responsive humanitarian action. I cannot say more, the situation is fluid to put it mildly,” he told lawmakers, referring to the crisis in Afghanistan.
“But let me add this warning, we will not engage in any asylum or giving any asylum, unless it is on a government-to-government basis,” he added.
As of Aug. 30, Locsin said only 24 Filipinos remained in Kabul, with eight seeking repatriation and 16 opting to remain there. A total of 187 Filipinos have been evacuated, he added.
Malacañang earlier said the Philippines was willing to accept refugees from Afghanistan after the Taliban seized power.
“Asylum seekers are welcome in the Philippines,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque had said.
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