The government is looking to set up a consulate office in Cebu City, the Philippines, by early 2014 amid concerns over increased crime against South Koreans on the popular tourist island, a Foreign Affairs Ministry official said Sunday.
“The protection of Koreans living in the Philippines has emerged as an important issue, the ministry plans to set up the consulate in the first half of next year, and preparations have been nearly completed,” the official was quoted as saying by Yonhap News.
Although the Korean Embassy is already located in the capital city of Manila, the ministry is planning to dispatch permanent staff to Cebu to protect Korean residents and tourists, according to the official.
“The Korean embassy is located too far away from the popular tourist destination. If the office is set up, we will be able to more quickly to respond to crimes and accidents there,” the official added.
The island draws about 410,000 Korean tourists annually and there are also about 20,000 Korean residents, according to the ministry.
The proposal to set up the consulate in Cebu gained momentum after a Korean national was killed by unidentified gunmen last month.
The 43-year-old victim was found dead inside his restaurant with several bullet wounds. The incident came less than two months after another Korean businessman was shot dead while his driver was wounded in the city.
By Oh Kyu-wook (email@example.com