The ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict will not have any immediate impact on the Philippine economy and the country is not bracing for any effect at this time, the government’s socioeconomic planning secretary said on Friday.

National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Arsenio Balisacan made the remark during a press briefing in Malacañang about the possible impact of the Israel conflict on the economy, particularly the possible ripple effects.

“Yes, there was a meeting yesterday and we did look at the—discussed about the impact on the economy. But so far, there is hardly any impact, because there have been no major disruptions in the supply chain. Oil has increased a bit, but we don’t know if that is just an initial reaction,” Balisacan said as a response to a reporter’s question.

“But the impact is so negligible. I guess, the question is whether, will it spread? That the conflict spreads and that is another matter. Because then, if it gets into the supply chain, it affects the global movements of trade and the effects can be even more… But as of this date, we don’t see any major impact on the economy.”

According to the NEDA chief, the Philippines has very little exposure to both Israel and Palestine in all dimensions, whether it’s labor employment, trade or investment.

Unless the conflict spills into the other countries and it affects the supply of oil, then there will be an impact on the Philippines. “But as of now, we are not seeing that,” he said.

On Thursday, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. instructed government agencies and the Philippine embassy in Israel to continue working for the repatriation of Filipinos there and to locate the four citizens that remain unaccounted for following the attack of Hamas militants in southern Israel. |PND