Filipinos in Ukraine ‘undecided’ whether to stay or not, foreign affairs official says


Many Filipinos in Ukraine are still unsure “whether to stay or go,” as they hope the conflict with Russia will fizzle out in the coming days, the Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Saturday.

“Until now, they are still vacillating on whether to stay or to go,” said Sarah Lou Arriola, DFA undersecretary for migrant workers’ affair.

“Others are married to Ukrainians… you don’t leave your family behind, or you go where your spouse goes,” Arriola said in an interview with radio program, Teleradyo.

Of the 181 out of some 380 Filipinos “accounted for” by the government, around 40 are now in western city of Lviv near the Polish border, but they are still undecided if they wanted to be repatriated or to stay behind to be with their Ukrainian spouses and families, the DFA undersecretary said.

Arriola said only those who wanted to escape the hostilities in Ukraine will be flown back to the Philippines since repatriation is still voluntary, while those who opted to stay will still be assisted.

The DFA likewise called again for Filipinos in Ukraine to reach out.

“We have only accounted 181. We don’t know if they (the rest) already left, that’s why we are asking them, actually, we are begging them to please, reach out to us,” she said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has since launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Thursday, a move that was met with a torrent of condemnation from Western countries. (Source: