Pangilinan calls for prompt evacuation of Filipinos in Ukraine

"Alam na natin ito. Gawin na natin ito (We already know this. Let us do this now).”

Senator Francis 'Kiko' Pangilinan

Aspiring vice president Senator Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan said this on Wednesday, Feb. 16, as he called on concerned government agencies to immediately reach out to the Ukraine government for the exit of hundreds of Filipinos in the foreign land.

“Tinatawagan natin ang DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs), DOLE (Department of Labor and Employment), at OWWA (Overseas Workers Welfare Administration) na maghanda na sa anumang maaaring mangyari sa Ukraine (We are calling on the DFA, DOLE, and OWWA to prepare for any possible event that may happen in Ukraine)," Pangilinan said in a statement.

The Senator added that the Foreign Affairs department must promptly reach out to the Ukraine government for the possible evacuation and repatriation of Filipinos there.

"Merong mga 600 na Pinoy ang nandoon na nagtatrabaho bilang household worker o sa IT, sabi ng Ukraine government. At marami sa kanila ang nakatira sa capital mismo ng Kyiv o malapit dito (The Ukraine government said there are about 600 Filipinos working as household worker or in IT firms in the country. And many of them are in Kyiv and neighboring areas)," Pangilinan said.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. on Wednesday said the DFA and foreign posts in EU are now being mobilized to taking 140 Filipino in Kyiv to safety through the closest and safest exit.

He is also reaching out to Kursk and Belgograd, which are the nearest, and Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia.

Locsin assured that Filipinos will not be harmed and will have a safe exit to the closest border.

"Rest assured Filipinos in Ukraine will come to no harm; I will be on top of it personally," he said.

READ MORE: 'Filipinos in Ukraine won't be harmed'; safe border exit assured — Locsin

Meanwhile, Pangilinan disclosed that the Ukraine post in the Philippines has yet to receive a request for assistance from the Philippine government as of Wednesday.

"Sabi ng non-resident ambassador of Ukraine to the Philippines, wala pa raw silang natatanggap ng request for assistance mula sa gobyerno natin dito sa Manila (According to the non-resident ambassador of Ukraine to the Philippines, they have yet to receive request for assistance from the government here in Manila.