In line with the volatile situation that has befallen the city-state, the Philippine Consulate General in Hong Kong has urged Filipinos to delay non-essential visits in the country.
Hong Kong has seen a series of unprecedented demonstrations and city-wide protests drawing millions of angry civilians expressing their disapproval of the extradition bill floated by Carrie Lam’s administration back in February of this year but has recently been withdrawn for good.
PCG Officials Advise Pinoys to Avoid Non-Essential Travels in HK for Now
Accordingly, the Philippine Consulate General in Hong Kong announced the decision to discourage Filipino travelers from visiting the country citing reasons such as serious disruptions in the modes of transport due to the activities related to the ongoing protests via their Facebook page on Monday (September 2).
The advisory shared: “All Filipinos who are now in Hong Kong are further advised to exercise caution, keep away from demonstration areas, stay alert, and avoid wearing black or white upper clothes.”
Meanwhile, those who have flights were also advised by the consulate to check with their airlines and allocate a significant lead time for travel there since there are days when there will be protests within or near the airport.
Recently, train operation to the airport was suspended after pro-democracy protesters threatened to disrupt transport links there.
Gov’t Officially ‘Scraps’ Extradition Bill
In an effort to restore order in the State, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam has officially withdrawn the controversial extradition bill that has sparked the civil unrest in the country a few months ago.
The said decision, other than for its diplomatic purpose was enacted to streamline the legislative agenda and was actually a technical move considering that Lam had already declared the bill to be “dead” and vowed not to reintroduce it.
The decision is said to be one of four actions announced by the Chief Executive to foster a dialogue that can help society move forward after more than two months of protests.
The second action is the appointment of two new members, Helen Yu, and Paul Lam, to the Independent Police Complaints Council (IPCC).
The third one is opening channels for a direct dialogue with the community this month.
And finally, the fourth action will be to invite community leaders, professionals, and academics to independently examine and review society’s deep-seated problems and to advise the Government on finding solutions.
As soon as the withdrawal was formally announced, media channels have reported a surge in Hong Kong stocks and revealed Lam’s intention to meet pro-Beijing politicians and have informed them of her decision to scrap the bill.
Meanwhile, media analysts called on the decision as a move offered by the government “to cool down the atmosphere”.