MANILA – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is preparing several repatriation arrangements for Filipinos in Ukraine amid the ongoing tensions and invasion fears in the Eastern European state.
“The DFA is in close coordination with its Foreign Service Posts in the region on arrangements to bring home the Overseas Filipinos in Ukraine who may wish to return to the Philippines. The situation at Ukraine’s border remains fluid, and security conditions could change at any moment,” it said in a statement Tuesday.
The DFA noted that discussions are ongoing with the Filipino community, as well as other governments and international partners to assist Filipino nationals who wish to relocate to more secure areas. This includes the European Union to ensure the safe passage of Filipinos across EU borders.
“We urge Filipinos in Ukraine to keep communication lines with the Philippine Embassy in Poland open, and wait for updates, bulletins, and safety instructions,” the DFA said.
According to Filipino community group United Filipino Global Ukraine, the Philippine Embassy in Warsaw already advised them to leave the European state while they can.
“[Ang] advice ng Embassy iisa lang daw at wala nang iba. ‘Umuwi daw ng Pilipinas habang puwede pa (The advice of the Embassy is only one. Go home to the Philippines while you can),'” it said, citing its recent meeting with the Embassy on February 13.
In an ANC interview on Tuesday, United Filipino Global Ukraine head Shirley Santosildes said eight Filipinos already availed of the government’s free repatriation flight, the earliest of which is scheduled to depart on February 17.
Meanwhile, she said the situation in Kyiv remains normal and “very peaceful” but some Filipinos have already left the capital.
“At this time, everything is normal, everything in Kyiv is operational. The transportation it’s normal, the supermarket, everything, there’s no indication that there is conflict. But for now, we are all hoping that nothing like that will happen,” she said.
Filipinos in Ukraine are advised to contact the Philippine Embassy in Poland as early as possible through the following contact details:
WhatsApp/Viber: Emergency: +48 604 357 396
Assistance to Nationals: +48 694 491 663
Email: [email protected]There are around 380 Filipinos currently residing in Ukraine, according to the latest data from the DFA.