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Philippine Embassy fires back at xenophobic Thai Rath headline

Tanutam Thawan



Leading Thai daily Thai Rath has incurred the wrath of the Philippines Embassy in Thailand with their tabloid headline reporting about Filipino teaches coming to Thailand. The first 165 arrived a few days ago. Up to 3,000, mostly Filipino, are expected in the next month or so Filipino teachers are a common sight in schools around Thailand teaching English.

The Thai Rath headline read…

“165 Filipino teachers have just arrived in Thailand from the land of Covid-19.”

The Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines was not amused. They posted an open letter addressed to the editor of Thai Rath, expressing their ‘deep dissatisfaction’ over the headline.

Part of their response read… The characterization is inappropriate, insensitive and unhelpful at at time when all of us, brothers and sisters in the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) are closely co-operating to deal with the new and unforeseen challenges brought about by the coronavirus…”

More than 3,000 foreign teachers, most from the Philippines, have registered to travel to Thailand following the move to ease coronavirus travel restrictions in the latest easing of border bans.

But officials maintain that strict screening measures will be in place for the teachers when they arrive. Attapon Truektrong, sec-gen of the Private Education Commission says that the public should not panic over the news.

“They are both the teachers who had previously taught in Thailand but unable to return to Thailand, and newly employed teachers.”

“Please be rest assured that although the outbreak situation in the Philippines is severe, everyone will be thoroughly screened.”

The response from the Philippine Embassy was quite tame although not the sort of PR the Thai government need at the moment, when a string of xenophobic comments and mis-steps by Thai companies banning foreigners from their services, keep popping up.

Some comments on The Thaiger Facebook page yesterday…

“…and the damage to the country’s reputation continues.”

“Thailand’s blatant racism manged to piss off even the good natured Filipinos.”

It’s as if the real virus is stupidity and racism.”

“Bringing in outsiders now allows the virus truths will have come in with new arrivals. Plausible deniability.”

They Philippines has suffered a recent spike in cases making it the country in ASEAN with the highest number of total cases, passing Indonesia’s total last week.

Philippine Embassy fires back at xenophobic Thai Rath headline | News by Thaiger Philippine Embassy fires back at xenophobic Thai Rath headline | News by Thaiger


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  1. Avatar

    Rinky Stingpiece

    Tuesday, August 11, 2020 at 3:04 pm

    Truly nobody knows the levels of the virus, particularly in Philippines and Indonesia… Not sure how certain they can be in Thailand either.

  2. Avatar

    Perceville Smithers

    Tuesday, August 11, 2020 at 3:21 pm

    So, the mindset is all outsiders are infected and they’re trying to bring it into Thailand.

  3. Avatar


    Tuesday, August 11, 2020 at 5:34 pm

    As you mention, this is just the latest in a string of incidents that have highlighted attitudes among some Thais against foreigners. Unfortunately, I believe this is not something unique to Thailand. In times of crisis throughout history it has been common to blame someone else, sometimes foreigners, for every problem. I doubt that will change.

  4. Avatar


    Wednesday, August 12, 2020 at 8:24 am

    Simply quarantine the teachers for two weeks before they can fully enter Thailand. Not racist but cautious and diligent.

    • Avatar

      steen thomsen

      Saturday, August 29, 2020 at 1:00 pm

      Thailand er med rette bange for at importere Covid 19. Det har intet med racisme at gøre. Vi i dk. har meget at lære, hvordan thaier tager positivt imod fremmede med et smil.I øvrigt har de et
      forhold som duksen i hele verden. Ingen tilfælde i 4 måneder og kun 58 døde. BRAVO .

    • Avatar

      Toby Andrews

      Saturday, August 29, 2020 at 2:20 pm

      Thais bend the rules when it suits them.
      They do not let tourists in without a lot of rules and impediments, yet they are letting in thousands of Filipino teachers with minimal restrictions.
      I suppose because Filipinos speak english.
      AND, a Thai newspaper makes some nasty comment!
      Rules can be broken in Thailand, but only by the government.

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