Thu. May 26th, 2022

About 40 Filipinos have so far been safely evacuated from Ukraine, with some awaiting repatriating flights in nearby countries, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Monday.


In a statement, the DFA’s Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs (OUMWA) said these Filipinos awaiting flights are in Poland, Hungary, and Moldova — while six so far have returned home to the Philippines.

This, after a team from the Philippine Embassy in Warsaw, Poland, after weeks of coordination with the Filipino community in Ukraine, met with a group of Filipinos who fled to Lviv during Russia’s invasion.

The DFA, it said, has received reports that two vessels with Filipino crew members were hit by a bomb and shelling in the Black Sea.

On February 24, it said a Marshall Islands-flagged and Turkish-owned commercial cargo ship Yasa Jupiter, carrying 11 Filipino crew on board, was hit by a bomb off the coast of the port city of Odessa.

Yasa Holding, the Turkish owner of the ship, confirmed with the Philippine Embassy in Ankara in Turkey and the Philippine Consulate General in Istanbul that all crew members, including the Filipino crew, were not hurt in the incident, are safe, and have been able to contact their families.

Another vessel, the Japanese-owned, Panamanian-flagged grain bulk carrier M/V Nomura Queen was hit by a missile in the Black Sea off Odesa and bore damage to its stern.

“One Filipino crew member fell upon impact and sustained a non-life-threatening injury while the rest of the Filipino crew are safe,” the OUMWA said.

According to the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo, the M/V Nomura Queen was last heard headed to Istanbul for repairs and was expected to arrive on February 27.

“The Embassy and the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Osaka (POLO-Osaka) are in touch with Nissen Kaiun, the owner of the ship, to monitor the condition of the seafarers,” the OUMWA said.

Once the seafarers arrive in Istanbul, it said the Philippine Embassy in Ankara and Consular General in Istanbul is ready to assist Filipinos with repatriation should they decide to return to the Philippines.

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