Since I know not everyone who reads my blog in Manila is associated with the embassy, I figured I should spread the word… And here I always thought Manila was a super-safe place for us! Let’s hope this warning remains just as a warning. (On that note, US Citizens in Manila should definitely register with the embassy to get notifications as well, more information is on the message below.) And I guess any expat, even if not American, should have some caution. From experience, people here often assume white = American.
EMERGENCY MESSAGE FOR U.S. CITIZENS
September 28, 2012
THE EMBASSY OF THE UNITED STATES IS TRANSMITTING THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION AS A PUBLIC SERVICE TO U.S. CITIZENS TRAVELING THROUGH OR RESIDING IN THE PHILIPPINES. PLEASE DISSEMINATE THIS MESSAGE TO ALL U.S. CITIZENS IN YOUR ORGANIZATION OR NEIGHBORHOOD. THANK YOU.
Threat Against American Citizens in Manila
The U.S. Embassy advises American citizens in the Philippines that a threat against American citizens in metropolitan Manila, specifically the Pasay City neighborhood, has been detected by reliable security forces. This threat remains in effect until October 10, 2012.
In response to the threat, the U.S. Ambassador has ordered an augmented security profile for all U.S. government facilities in Manila.
The Embassy urges American citizens at this time to:
1.) Exercise extreme caution in their daily routine and to maintain extra awareness regarding their own security;
2.) As much as possible, maintain a low profile;
3.) Vary travel routes and social routines;
4.) Consider cancelling any American gatherings, celebrations or observations that could be construed as American events;
5.) Report any perceived security concern to Philippine authorities.
The U.S. Embassy also wishes to remind U.S. citizens of the continuing threat of terrorist actions and violence against U.S. citizens and interests throughout the world. In a message dated July 12, 2012, the Department of State recommends Worldwide Caution and reminds U.S. citizens that terrorism can occur anywhere.
The Embassy reminds U.S. citizens of the dangers sometimes associated with public demonstrations. Even demonstrations that are meant to be peaceful can suddenly become violent and unpredictable. Americans should be alert, pay attention to local news media, and avoid demonstration areas if at all possible. The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority often provides a map of affected locations at their website, www.mmda.gov.ph/192012-rerouting.html.
We encourage all U.S. citizens in the Philippines to enroll with the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program or at the U.S. Embassy in Manila. By enrolling, you can receive the Embassy’s most recent security and safety updates during your trip. Enrolling also ensures that we can reach you, or your designated emergency points of contact, during an emergency. The U.S. Embassy is located at: 1201 Roxas Boulevard, Manila, Philippines, tel. 63-2-301-2000. The American Citizens Services (ACS) section’s fax number is 63-2-301-2017, and you may reach the ACS Section by email at ACSinfoManila@state.gov. The ACS Section’s website includes consular information and the most recent messages to the U.S. citizen community in the Philippines.
U.S. citizens traveling in the region are encouraged to stay up to date on conditions across the globe by bookmarking the Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which contains the current Travel Warnings (including the Travel Warning for the Philippines, dated June 14, 2012) and Travel Alerts as well as the Worldwide Caution of July 12, 2012. Follow us on Twitter and become a fan of the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well. You can also download our free Smart Traveler iPhone App to have travel information at your fingertips. If you don’t have internet access, current information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States, or for callers from other countries, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).