7 March 2022– Due to the rapidly deteriorating security situation in Ukraine, the Department of Foreign Affairs has raised the alert level for all areas in Ukraine to Alert Level 4.
The announcement “Advisory No. 04-2022” posted by the Philippine Embassy in Warsaw last Monday said under this level, “mandatory evacuation” will now be in effect and its cost will be shouldered by the Philippine government.
Filipinos in Ukraine will be assisted by the Philippine Embassy in Poland and the Rapid Response Team, which are currently assisting Filipino nationals for repatriation.
The Philippine Embassy’s 24/7 contact details are as follows:
1. Emergency Phone Number: +48 604 357 396 (Also receives VIBER and WHATSAPP calls).
2. Assistance-to-Nationals Phone Number: +48 694 491 663 (Also receives VIBER and WHATSAPP calls).
The DFA continues to closely monitor the political and security developments in Ukraine.
In another advisory, the Department also said three groups of Filipino evacuees departed Warsaw, Poland on March 5 while the latest arrivals came from Kyiv and other areas in the western part of Ukraine.
“The first group, consisting of four Filipino adults, three Filipino-Ukrainian children with their three Ukrainian mothers, arrived in the afternoon via a Qatar Airlines flight.
The second group of two Filipino adults, a Filipino-Ukranian child, and his Ukrainian mother arrived in the evening.
The third group of three (3) Filipino nationals from Kyiv arrived in Manila on their own arrangements,” the foreign affairs department counted.
This is addition to 19 Filipinos repatriated as of March 1.
In a related development, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go underscored the need for the government to protect the safety of Filipinos in Ukraine, majority of whom are in the capital Kyiv, amid its escalating conflict with Russia. “Our primary priority is of course to get our kababayans out of danger as quickly as possible,” he stressed.
Senator Go lauded the efforts of the Department of Foreign Affairs in mobilizing all resources to evacuate Filipinos. Operations are underway to move affected Filipinos to safety from Ukraine to neighboring countries and ultimately back home.
The senator advised Filipinos in Ukraine to exercise care and be aware of their surroundings, to be vigilant, and to keep in touch with the Philippine Embassy Team in Poland or the Consulate General in Kyiv if they require assistance.
He also urged the government to mitigate the adverse economic impact of the international conflict on the country through the timely provision of fuel subsidies to transport drivers and the agricultural transport sector, especially since oil prices have already surpassed $100 per barrel.
Meanwhile, noting the large number of Filipinos living abroad, Go reiterated the need to enhance and strengthen policies and measures that would protect their safety.
“One of these (measures) is President Rodrigo Duterte’s gift to overseas Filipino workers, the newly enacted law establishing the Department of Migrant Workers. The passage of Republic Act No. 11641, which I authored and co-sponsored, has been a long time coming, since it is one of President Duterte’s declared priority legislative initiatives during his term,” he said.
An estimated forty-five Filipinos still remain in Kyiv.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees on Sunday reported that over 1.53 million have left Ukraine following the Russian invasion. The UN is expecting at least four million people to flee the country due to the war.