21 Filipino seafarers abandoned by their shipping company for more than a hundred days at the port of Kakinada in India
PASAY CITY, Philippines – Vice Consul JB Santos will lead a team of Embassy officials in New Delhi on Thursday (October 11) to visit the 21 Filipino seafarers stranded and abandoned at Kakinada port in India.
The move is in response to the group’s request for rescue and assistance through the help of UNTV network.
The officials will check on the condition of the seafarers to assist them with the repatriation process.
Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Elmer Cato on Friday said the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) will immediately take action on the matter.
After UNTV notified the DFA and aired the report, the group’s head Captain Alexander Apao said they were able to take a sigh of relief because their manning agency, Evic Human Resources Management, pressured by the report, immediately wired money or part of their four months’ withheld salary to their respective families in the Philippines.
“Noong Friday, nagpadala iyong manning agency ng pera remittance doon sa mga pamilya. Medyo nakahinga ng konti sa bayarin ang mga pamilya [namin]. Then by next week, mayroon daw silang ire-remit ulit equivalent to one month allotment,” said Apao.
When the UNTV News and Rescue Team visited the manning agency in Ermita, Manila, a representative confirmed that they already purchased plane tickets for the repatriation of the seafarers though they refused to be recorded on camera.
But according to Captain Apao, they have not been notified on the matter.
“Sa ngayon wala pang natanggap na balita tungkol doon sa ticket. Wala pang sinabi ang opisina kung may ticket na ba kami, kung kailan kami makakauwi. Basta ang information ko doon sa DFA pinaprocess nila yung repatriation,” he said.
The seafarers are crew members of MV Evangelia who were abandoned by the shipping company since October 2, 2018 after it went bankrupt. — Marje Pelayo (with reports from JL Asayo)