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Transcript of remarks by S for S

     Following is the transcript of remarks by the Secretary for Security, Mr Lai Tung-kwok, at a media session after attending a radio programme this morning (April 26):

Reporter: Can you explain why the black travel alert for the Philippines has lowered? Was it linked to the decision to offer an apology and compensation to the victims?

Secretary for Security: The black travel alert was in place for a very long time. And we all know it was introduced because of the Manila incident. At that time, we felt that the safety of Hong Kong tourists in Manila might have been seriously affected. During the three years (and eight months), we closely monitored what measures the Manila government had implemented to improve the situation. And in what you can see from the press release (issued on April 23), a substantial number of measures have been introduced.

     Having considered what they have done in this period, in addition, we have also made reference to other countries or territories that have issued travel warning alerts against the Philippines, to see which is the appropriate warning level, we have come to a conclusion that the lowering of black travel alert, which has been replaced by a yellow one, is on a par with the travel alerts issued by other countries or territories. And we therefore decided it was an appropriate opportunity for us to make an adjustment. Of course, as with other hot spots for Hong Kong travellers, we will continuously conduct very close monitoring of the situation. And should, I must say should, if there is any change in circumstances, we will follow the established procedures to adjust the warning signal, either putting it onto a higher level, or if things become much much better and there are no threats, then the signal will be totally lowered. We have been doing that ever since the outbound travel alert was introduced. If you look back at the record, we issued black, lowered to yellow; from black lowered to red and?back to black again. So it's a constant monitoring process. It's not something static.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Saturday, April 26, 2014
Issued at HKT 14:45


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