Statement of DFA Secretary on the Japan quake/tsunami and the unrest in Bahrain

Rep. Bobby Scott (VA-03) with the Ambassador o...Image by congressman_honda via Flick
Statement of Secretary of Foreign Affairs Albert F. del Rosario:
On the aftermath of the Japan quake/tsunami and on the unrest in Bahrain
[Delivered during a press briefing at the Department of Foreign Affairs on March 17, 2011]
Members of the media, colleagues in government, good afternoon.
Pursuant to the instructions of President Benigno S. Aquino III to ensure the safety and security of Filipinos around the world, we are closely monitoring developments in Japan and Bahrain and proactively responding to the calls for assistance from Filipinos in affected areas in said countries.
The Japanese authorities have issued advisories with respect to exclusion zones around the Fukushima Daiichi and Daiini nuclear power plants. We urge all Filipinos in those areas to follow these advisories.
Filipinos who are concerned about possible radiation exposure may wish to voluntarily relocate to Tokyo or other areas further away, or depart voluntarily from the country using their own means.
If, as determined by Japanese officials, relocation and repatriation become necessary, the Philippine Government will defray the cost to undertake the required measures to either relocate or repatriate Filipinos from the affected areas.
Yesterday, a Philippine Embassy team relocated to Tokyo 43 Filipinos from Sendai and Fukushima in a bus which earlier brought relief goods to the Filipinos there.
The Philippine embassy in Tokyo will continually ensure the safety and serve the needs of Filipinos in Japan.
To reiterate the words of Philippine Ambassador to Japan Manuel Lopez, in his telephone conversations with me, “we are fully committed to remain here to serve the needs of Filipinos in Japan.”
With respect to Bahrain, the Department raised the alert level in Bahrain from alert level 1 (heightened alertness) to alert level 2 (restriction of movements) last Tuesday, in view of increased tensions in that country.
Thus, we have urged the Filipinos in Bahrain to restrict their movements to only those which are absolutely essential and also to voluntarily depart the country using their own means.
There is yet no need to raise the level to alert level 3 (voluntary repatriation), where the Philippine Government will make available facilities for their repatriation.
Since February 17, the Philippine Embassy in Manama under the leadership of Ambassador Corazon Yap-Bahjin has met with Filipino community members to brief them of the Embassy’s contingency plans.
We wish to assure the public that the contingency plans for Bahrain and Japan are updated and in place, and proactive measures have been undertaken.
Thus far, there are no confirmed reports of Filipino injuries or fatalities in either Bahrain or Japan.
The DFA and other agencies of the Philippine Government are fully committed in ensuring the safety and welfare of Filipinos in Bahrain, Japan or in other places undergoing difficulties. Thank you.