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Over 40 Pinoys in Ukraine awaiting repatriation–DFA



Over 40 Filipinos are awaiting repatriation to the Philippines, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced Saturday, amid the continuous aggression of Russia against Ukraine.

Rescued from Kyiv, the evacuees are now at the western city of Lviv where they were welcomed by Philippine Ambassador to Warsaw Leah Basinang-Ruiz, who was personally overseeing the repatriation activities.

The ambassador assured them of assistance as they prepare to cross borders to Poland, where they are set to take their respective flights back to the Philippines.

“The Philippine Embassy in cooperation with DFA-OUMWA, is committed to assisting the remaining Filipinos in Kyiv and in other parts of Ukraine in order to bring them out of harm’s way while there is still time,” Basinang-Ruiz said.

The DFA is expecting more Filipinos to arrive at Lviv in the coming days as the situation in Ukraine continues to aggravate.

Earlier, the agency said it had accounted 181 from around 380 Filipino nationals living in the eastern European country. This comes after they have successfully repatriated six Filipinos back to the Philippines.

DFA Undersecretary for Migrant Affairs Sara Lou Arriola explained it might be because of the hesitancy of Filipinos to contact the embassies in fear they will be forcefully evacuated.

In an interview over DZMM’s Teleradyo, Arriola said many Pinoys do not want to go back to the country because of their Ukrainian spouses and children. Household workers are also reluctant to go home because of their employers.

Ukraine remains under Alert Level 2 in the crisis alert system of the Philippines which means repatriation of Filipinos living there remains voluntary.

“Many of our kababayans there do not want to go home even if there’s bombing there,” she said. “We saw that in Syria where up until now, many Filipinos are still there. Same goes with Libya.”

Still, Arriola encouraged Filipinos in the country to reach out to the DFA through the embassies and the OFW Facebook Page.