MANILA – Malacañang on Thursday said it respects the decision of Malaysia to ban the entry of Filipinos from entering the country citing the Philippines’ number of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said it is the “sovereign decision” of Malaysia to determine who is allowed to enter the country.
“I’m not saying we’re happy. We regret the decision but we respect the sovereign decision of Malaysia,” he said in a virtual Palace briefing.
Malaysia imposed an entry ban on citizens of Philippines, Indonesia, and India starting September 7.
Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin earlier said Malaysia imposed the entry ban to curb the pandemic until the end of the year as the virus “is still actively spreading across the world”.
The Philippines has the highest number of Covid-19 cases in Southeast Asia with some 226,440 infections followed by Indonesia with a total of 180,646 cases as of September 2.
Total cases in Southeast Asia crossed the 479,000 mark.
India has nearly four million cases, the third highest in the world after the United States and Brazil.
Covid-19 cases in the world surpassed 26 million on Wednesday.
Last July, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced that over 30 countries and territories across America, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East have lifted travel restrictions for Filipinos.
Information regarding travel restrictions is subject to change without prior and sufficient public notice, the DFA said.
The DFA advised all travelers to check with their airlines on advisories of Embassies or Consulates before departure or booking a ticket. (PNA)