21 Filipino seafarers repatriated from Ukraine

THE Philippines has repatriated 21 Filipinos from Ukraine amid the escalating war in the country.

Officials from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) welcomed the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) upon their arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) aboard Philippine Airlines (PAL) flight PR659.

OWWA Deputy Administrator Arnel Ignacio and Department of Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary for Migrant Workers Affairs Paul Cortes welcomed the group that volunteered to come home as the Russia-Ukraine conflict intensified.

The 21 Filipinos were crew members of M/V S-Breeze that were repatriated through the Philippine Embassy in Budapest, Hungary and the Philippine Honorary Consulate in Moldova.

OWWA has provided P10,000 financial assistance to all seafarers after they arrived in Manila, while one of them who is not fully vaccinated was brought to the quarantine facility for the mandatory 10-day isolation.

The DFA has implemented the mandatory repatriation of all OFWs living in Ukraine as Russian forces advanced on major key cities where many civilians were caught in the deadly crossfire.

In February, the Philippine government, through OWWA, planned a mass repatriation of Filipinos in Ukraine if President Vladimir Putin ordered Russian forces to launch a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

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