DFA says total of 225 Filipinos so far repatriated from Ukraine

Jaehwa Bernardo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 13 2022 12:04 PM | Updated as of Mar 13 2022 12:22 PM

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MANILA — The number of Filipinos who have been repatriated from Ukraine, which remains in conflict with Russian invaders, has reached 225, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Sunday.

The latest batch of repatriates, which includes 52 individuals, arrived in the country on Saturday night, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Sarah Lou Arriola told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.

There are 98 Filipinos outside of Ukraine who are awaiting repatriation while "a little over a hundred" chose to stay in the eastern European country, either because of work or marriage to locals, Arriola said.

Arriola also said some Filipino seafarers are still stranded in Ukrainian ports due to the conflict.

"Nahihirapan lang talaga silang maka-evacuate dahil malakas iyong putukan kung saan sila nandoon," she said, noting that the DFA is coordinating with the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration to get the seafarers to safety.

(They have a really hard time evacuating because of the intense fighting in their location.)

Arriola appealed to Filipinos who are in Kyiv to evacuate before fighting reaches the capital city.

"We are really appealing to them na sana lumikas na sila habang hindi pa kailangan talagang humingi ng humanitarian corridor [galing Kyiv]," she said.

(We are really appealing to them to evacuate now while a humanitarian corridor from Kyiv is not yet needed.)

Filipino officials will continue to wait for evacuees until they are allowed to stay in Ukraine, Arriola added.

Around 2.6 million people, mostly women and children, have fled Ukraine since Russia began invading the country 3 weeks ago.

The Philippines has condemned the invasion of Ukraine.