116 Filipinos still in Ukraine, around 200 seafarers ‘stranded’ – DFA
MANILA, Philippines — One hundred sixteen Filipinos are still in Ukraine while around 200 seafarers are “stranded” amid the Russia-Ukraine crisis, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs Sarah Lou Arriola said.
Arriola said 209 other Filipinos in Ukraine have been accounted for, 93 of whom “were able to get out” since the crisis began.
“We only have 116 inside,” she said in an ANC interview.
Citing information from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, Arriola said some 200 Filipino seafarers are “stranded” amid the armed conflict.
“Hindi naman sila yung totally nasa crossfire kaya lang medyo stranded talaga sa Black Sea area, sa may Odessa, sa iba’t ibang lugar,” she said in a separate interview over Teleradyo.
(They’re not totally in the crossfire but they are stranded in the Black Sea, in Odessa as well as other areas)
“Kaya nagiingat na sila. ‘Di sila makapag-sail kasi baka tamaan naman yung kanilang mga merchant ships. Medyo stranded sila ngayon doon sa Black Sea or dun malapit po sa port,” Arriola said.
(That’s why they’re being cautious. They can’t sail because their merchant ships may be hit. They’re stranded right now in the Black Sea and those near the port)
“Most of them, OK lang naman daw sila pero, of course, naririnig nila yung mga putukan,” she added.
(Most of them are OK but, of course, they can hear the fighting)
The only problem for them, according to Arriola, is they could not sail.
“Kasi nga may presence na rin ng mga armed conflict, may nangyayari na ring armed conflict doon sa dagat so medyo apektado talaga tayo ng giyerang ‘to,” she added.
(Because there is already the presence of armed conflict there, there’s armed conflict already happening at sea, we really are affected by this war)
“Although, malayo tayo sa Ukraine, dahil ang Pilipinas ang may pinakamaraming seafarers sa buong mundo. So halos lahat po ng mga barko na naglalayag, may Pilipino,” she also said.
(Although we are far from Ukraine, the Philippines has the most number of seafarers in the world. So every ship has a Filipino crewmember)
Meanwhile, 19 others have crossed the border in Poland on Thursday, while 27– 21 of whom are seafarers–are now on their way to Bucharest, Romania for their eventual repatriation to the Philippines.
Four other Filipinos are now in Romania, 15 are in Hungary and nine are in Austria, according to Arriola.
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