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Malacañang says Taiwan will provide additional security to protect Filipinos

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Antonio Basilio, the Philippines' representative to Taiwan, speaks during a joint news conference with Taiwan Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lin at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taipei May 15, 2013. Chairman of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) Amadeo R. Perez will arrive in Taiwan on May 15 to visit the family of Taiwanese fisherman Hung Shih-cheng, who was shot dead by Filipino coast guards in disputed waters in the South China Sea last week, according to local media.  (MNS photo)

Antonio Basilio, the Philippines’ representative to Taiwan, speaks during a joint news conference with Taiwan Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lin at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taipei May 15, 2013. Chairman of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) Amadeo R. Perez will arrive in Taiwan on May 15 to visit the family of Taiwanese fisherman Hung Shih-cheng, who was shot dead by Filipino coast guards in disputed waters in the South China Sea last week, according to local media. (MNS photo)

The Taiwan government intends to provide additional security to protect Filipinos in Taiwan amid reports of assault and discrimination against Filipino nationals staying there, a Palace official said on Monday.

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a press briefing in Malacanang that the Philippine government remains optimistic that the harassment and assaults against Filipinos in Taiwan will be stopped after Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou vowed last week to protect the Filipinos there.

Last Friday, the Taiwan’s leader called for calm and promised to protect Filipinos residing and working in the island.

“I understand, that their leadership has already expressed intent to provide additional security and we’re hoping that the reported incidents will not be repeated,” Valte said.

The Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) had already organized a team that will document reports of harassment and assaults against Filipinos in Taiwan and relay it to Taiwan’s foreign ministry.

“Our counterparts there are already working with the relevant ministries in Taiwan for the investigation of these attacks,” Valte said.

Valte said the Philippine government is calling on the Taiwanese people not to harass the Filipinos there because they have nothing to do with the shooting death of a Taiwanese fisherman last May 9 off Batanes.

The Philippine government assured that contingencies are now in place in case there is an exodus of Filipinos from Taiwan. The Department of Labor said it is looking at other markets such as South Korea, the Middle East and Malaysia that could absorb Filipino workers affected by the current diplomatic row with Taiwan.

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