MANILA – The Ukrainian government is tapping the help of Filipino professionals in rebuilding its war-ravaged cities.
Chargé d'affaires Denys Mykhailiuk of the Ukraine Embassy in Malaysia, which holds jurisdiction over the Philippines, said Kiev would raise anew possible labor cooperation with the Philippines.
“[W]e will begin talks about the Filipino labor to come because this reconstruction effort will need significant increase in labor,” he said in a press conference in Makati City on Wednesday. The envoy is on a four-day trip to Manila.
“Hardworking Filipinos will be very welcomed there to benefit our growth and Filipino investors will be very much welcomed so I see enormous room to improve (relations),” he added.
Mykhailiuk said discussions on labor had been initiated before the 2022 Russian aggression against Ukraine but no agreement has been reached yet.
The envoy said Ukraine continued its offense against Russian troops as it sought to speed up victory and liberate more Russian-occupied territories.
“[N]ow we have stabilized the battle line and only 15 percent of the territories under occupation are directly impacted by the active battle now,” he said.
Once Kiev liberates more land, the envoy hoped Filipino businesses, especially those in the construction sector, would also invest and turn to Ukraine.
“[W]e are here to say that Ukraine is relatively safe for business now,” he said.
Ukraine is also seeking to increase trade with Manila, describing the country as a “priority nation” in the region, Mykhailiuk said.
“Unfortunately, since the war started, we have a drop of 94 percent in bilateral trade. We want to remedy these," he said.
The envoy said Kiev, a major exporter of wheat, is ready to help Manila build a “grain bank” and export more crops through the grain corridor, which allows Ukraine to safely ship commercial food from key Ukrainian ports in the Black Sea.
“We have proposed to the Government of the Philippines so the ball is on your side. We we can deliver immediately. Our silos are full of grain,” Mykhailiuk added. (PNA)