Contingency plan in place for Filipinos in Ukraine

By Maxxy Santiago, ABS-CBN Middle East News Bureau

Posted at Mar 21 2014 11:11 AM | Updated as of Mar 21 2014 07:11 PM

KUWAIT – The Philippine government has laid down its contingency plan for Filipinos who are caught in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

"We wanted to assure them that the government will extend full assistance in case there is an emergency. We tried also to impart to them yung plano natin. Meron tayong in place na contingency plan," said Ambassador Alejandro Mosquera in phone interview with Balitang Middle East.

The embassy in Moscow is implementing the contingency plan together with a team from Manila who is now in Ukraine and composed of personnel from the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Labor and Employment.

Mosquera clarified that the situation of Filipinos in Kiev remains good despite the tension in Crimea.

"Sa Kiev naman na notice ko very calm, peaceful, and people are doing their chores normally. Everything appears to be normal. Open naman ang mga shops. Okay pa naman doon," he said.

The embassy and the DFA-DOLE team designated area coordinators in Ukraine whom Filipinos could get in touch with.

The visit of representatives from the Philippine government briefly appeased the tension felt by many Filipinos in Ukraine.

"Kami po ay lubusang nagpapasalamat dahil sa mga tauhan ng DFA na ipinadala sa Ukraine at nagkaroon po kami ng kaliwanagan kung anuman po ang mangyari dito sa bansang Ukraine alam po namin ang gagawin namin at para naman po sa mga kababayan natin sa Pilipinas, huwag po kayong mag-alala nang husto. Lahat po ng ito isa-alang-alang po natin sa Panginoon," said OFW Beatriz Muilar Pascual.

Another Filipino in Ukraine, Edelia Guerrero urged fellow OFWs like her to remain strong and not to lose hope.

"Ang mensahe ko po sa gobyerno na matulungan po nila ang mga nangangailangan dito sa Ukraine kung sakali man dumating ang panahon na huwag naman po sana ipahintulot ng Diyos ang kaguluhan dito," Guerrero said.

The embassy still urged Filipinos to send an email ([email protected]) or call its hotline (+380-931-942701) in case of emergency.

"We advise them to restrict their movements. Then avoid protest or trouble. Yun pa lang pero wala pang repatriation or evacuation. Hindi pa dumating sa stage na ganun," he said.