PHILIPPINES — The displacement of 777,000 people (57% children and 21% women) brought the total number of people displaced by conflict inside Afghanistan to 3.5 million as of December 2021.

The Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) confirmed “discussions” with the United States to help the Western superpower sort out the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) applications of refugees who fled Afghanistan.

Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel “Babe” Romualdez informed Philippines that the request was lodged in October 2022.

“While the proposed arrangement is humanitarian in nature, it will not involve the admission or hosting of Afghan refugees,” said the DFA in a statement. “Consultations with relevant Philippine government agencies are ongoing,” the DFA added.

Manila most recently expressed openness to taking in the Rohingya in 2020, and Afghans in 2021, and Ukrainians in 2022.

However, Vice President Sara Duterte has opposed a US request to bring in 50,000 Afghans fleeing their Taliban-led country to the Philippines prior to their relocation to the United States, citing possible security threats and violations of the country’s sovereignty.