MANILA -- The Philippine embassy in South Korea submitted a contingency plan to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on how to ensure the safety of some 40,000 Filipinos there who may be affected by the conflict between North and South Korea.
Should tension escalate into conflict, the embassy projects it will be concentrated in areas near the border.
If this happens, Filipinos will be ordered to proceed to the southern part of South Korea, particularly in Gimhae City near Busan.
Gimhae City is 320 kilometers away from Seoul and may be reached in four and a half hours under normal traffic conditions.
In the event there is a need to airlift Filipinos out of South Korea, they will pass through the Busan International Airport.
This assumes the major international airport in Incheon will be closed if military operations take place near the border with North Korea.
In the contingency plan, the embassy also identified evacuation centers in Gimhae, which include the Imho Catholic Church that can shelter around 200 people.
To accommodate a larger number of evacuees, the embassy also cited the Gimhae Sports Gymnasium and Stadium as well as the gymnasium of Catholic schools within the area as possible evacuation centers.
Evacuees may also be housed in available inns and motels if needed.
The Philippine embassy also cited Daegu City, located 240 kilometers southeast of Seoul, as another area for convergence of Filipinos who need to be taken to safety.
The embassy identified the Daegu Catholic Workers Center as the convergence point.