DFA urges Filipinos in Hong Kong to 'exercise extreme caution, vigilance' amid tensions

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 12) — The Department of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday urged Filipinos in Hong Kong to "exercise extreme caution and vigilance" in the wake of tensions caused by public protests.

Violent clashes erupted as tens of thousands of people marched to protest a bill that would enable China to extradite people from Hong Kong. Police have used rubber bullets, pepper spray and tear gas to to push back the protesters.

READ: China extradition bill debate postponed as protesters swarm Hong Kong streets

In a statement, the DFA said the Philippines consulate in Hong Kong has advised Filipinos to keep away from demonstration areas near government headquarters, especially the legislative complex.

"The Consulate General further advises the consular public that unless their need is absolutely immediate, they should consider rescheduling their consular transactions at the Consulate General which is located very near the demonstration areas and requests the Filipino community to keep themselves updated with the security situation in Hong Kong as of this time through media reports," the DFA added.

It said the consulate continues to monitor the situation and is ready to provide assistance if needed.

There are currently over 140,000 overseas Filipino workers in Hong Kong as of last year, based on data from the Philippine Statistics Authority. Hundreds of thousands of Filipinos also visit the area every year.