DFA Delivers Care Packages to 29 Filipino Seafarers Stranded off the Coast of Dongshan County, China
(Xiamen PCG photos)
DONGSHAN 16 September 2021 — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) successfully brought care packages to 29 Filipino seafarers stranded off the coast of Dongshan, a county in the southeast of Fujian Province in China, on 11 September 2021.
The 29 stranded seafarers are onboard Chinese-flagged fishing vessels Han Rong 362, 366, and 369. All these vessels ceased operations last May 2021.
The DFA care packages contained food, clothing, and hygiene kits to address the immediate and basic needs of the stranded seafarers. The delivery of the care packages required the joint and well-coordinated efforts of the Philippine Consulates in Xiamen, Guangzhou, and Shanghai, and the Office of Migrant Workers Affairs’ (DFA-OUMWA) China Desk.
"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. It is a testament to the dedication and mettle of the Foreign Service despite the challenging situations posed by the pandemic," stated Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Sarah Lou Y. 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.
While the DFA's Assistance-To-Nationals Fund paid for the care packages, OUMWA continues to monitor the developments. To date, Leap Fiducia, the ships' principal based in Taiwan, will start arranging for the seafarers’ repatriation once it is able to settle the issue on salaries.
“We will continue to work with the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, and the Maritime Industry Authority for the swift resolution of this case,” concluded Undersecretary Arriola. END
(Xiamen PCG photos)