The Philippines on Wednesday raised the alert level in Myanmar after a military coup, allowing only workers with existing contracts to go to the country.

In an advisory, the Department of Foreign Affairs raised the alert to Level 2 for the safety of 1,273 Filipinos there.

“This entails restriction of nonessential movements, avoiding places of protest and preparation for possible evacuation,” it said in a statement. “Only returning workers with existing contracts shall be allowed to travel to Myanmar.”

DFA also reminded Filipinos in Myanmar to be careful, monitor developments and avoid places of protests.

Alert Level 2 is raised if there are “real threats to life, security and property of Filipinos due to internal or external threats,” according to the DFA website.

DFA last week repatriated 139 Filipinos from Myanmar due to COVID-19 and the political situation there. More than 500 Filipino workers in Myanmar have come home since March amid a coronavirus pandemic.

Protests were staged in Myanmar after its military declared a coup against its government this month.  Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other officials were detained. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas