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29 Filipino seafarers stranded in China

Janvic Mateo - The Philippine Star
29 Filipino seafarers stranded in China
The DFA gave assurance, though, that it is coordinating with Philippine foreign service posts in China to immediately bring the seafarers, who are aboard three Chinese-flagged fishing vessels off Dongshan county in Fujian province, back to the country.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Twenty-nine Filipino seafarers are stranded off the coast of China after their vessels ceased operations last May, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) revealed yesterday.

The DFA gave assurance, though, that it is coordinating with Philippine foreign service posts in China to immediately bring the seafarers, who are aboard three Chinese-flagged fishing vessels off Dongshan county in Fujian province, back to the country.

It said the ships’ principal based in Taiwan has committed to arrange for the seafarers’ repatriation once it is able to settle the issue on salaries.

The DFA last week provided them with care packages containing food, clothing and hygiene kits to address their immediate needs.

Bringing the seafarers home, it pointed out, requires the joint efforts of the Philippine consulates in Xiamen, Guangzhou and Shanghai, as well as the China desk of the DFA Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs (OUMWA).

“We operate as a team and we take complex tasks. It speaks volumes of what the DFA will go through to guarantee the safety and welfare of our seafarers,” said Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Sarah Lou Arriola.

“The work of OUMWA does not end at delivering the care packages. It was a two-pronged approach. We are working simultaneously and coordinating with our foreign service posts in China in order for us to bring home our stranded seafarers, the soonest,” added Assistant Secretary Enrico Fos.

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