MANILA, Feb 25 (Mabuhay) — Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. on Friday said he is travelling to the Ukranian border to ensure the safety of Filipinos and oversee the government’s efforts to relocate or repatriate them to the Philippines amid the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

“I’m going with ASEC Jet Ledda and @georgexpineda my protocol to personally see to the safety of my people at Ukrainian border. Deeply grateful to Poland. We’ll never forget this,” Locsin said on Twitter.

Locsin, who attended a series of meetings in Europe, earlier said Poland has agreed to allow Filipinos leaving Ukraine to enter the country without visas.

At least four Filipinos who requested repatriation assistance from the Philippine government are scheduled to fly to Manila from Kyiv “if circumstances would allow” and is expected to arrive in the country Friday, DFA Undersecretary Sarah Arriola has said.

“Repatriation is our department’s top priority,” Arriola said in a press briefing Thursday. “We are on standby to assist our kababayans. We will use all available means to bring them home.”

Approximately 380 Filipinos are living in Ukraine, most of whom are in capital Kyiv. The first batch of six Filipinos have returned home last week.

Manila is currently enforcing Alert Level 2 on Ukraine, meaning repatriation or evacuation is voluntary.

A Philippine consular team is currently in Ukraine’s Western city of Lviv to ensure faster coordination with the Filipino community and relevant authorities.

The DFA appealed to Filipinos to stay calm as it assured them that they will be provided immediate assistance should they wish to leave Ukraine.

Russian troops launched their attack on Ukraine on Thursday, drawing international condemnations, warnings and sanctions from countries, led by the United States, with US President Joe Biden calling Moscow’s move “unprovoked and unjustified.”

Dozens were reported killed on the first day of Russia’s invasion that targeted multiple cities. (MNS)

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