Malacañang on Thursday said it regretted Malaysia’s decision to prohibit Filipinos with long-term passes from entering the country.

Palace spokesman Harry Roque said it was Malaysia’s “sovereign decision.”

“I’m not saying we’re happy, I’m saying na we regret the decision but we respect the sovereign decision of Malaysia,” he said.

Citizens of India and Indonesia were also included in the ban.

In Malaysia, long-term passes are issued to family members of Malaysians, foreign students and permanent residents.

Malaysia has banned entry of foreign tourists since May.

The Philippines has 228,403 Covid-19 cases, the highest in Southeast Asia. Indonesia is second with 180,646.

India has the third highest number of cases worldwide, with 3,856,795 infections. John Ezekiel J. Hirro