MANILA, March 31 (Xinhua) -- Philippine President Benigno Aquino III has ordered the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Philippine Embassy in South Korea to work out measures to ensure the safety of Filipinos there due to soaring tensions on the Korean peninsula, Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said Sunday.
Lacierda said the president also ordered the DFA to keep him updated on the developments in the Korean Peninsula after the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) claimed that it had entered into a "state of war" with South Korea.
Presidential Communications Operations Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. also said that the Philippines would maintain a posture of vigilance and adhere to diplomatic modes of conflict resolution.
Philippine government, through the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), had been preparing contingency measures in response to possible external threats including previous missiles launched from the Korean Peninsula, Coloma said.
According to figures from the DFA, there are about 80,000 Filipinos residing and working in South Korea while data from Commission on Filipinos Overseas showed that there are only about 15 Filipinos based in DPRK.
The DPRK said on Saturday it was entering a state of war with South Korea and prepared to close a border industrial zone which gives them access to 2 billion U.S. dollars in trade a year.