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More than 5,000 Pinoy seafarers still stranded in ships in Manila Bay

More than 5,000 seafarers still stranded in ships in Manila Bay
Daphne Galvez - May 28, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Between 5,000 to 6,000 seafarers, who were already tested and cleared for the coronavirus diseases, are still stranded in ships in Manila Bay.

Recruitment consultant and migration expert Manny Geslani on Thursday said the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) already released the certificates of these seafarers, however, they are still waiting for manning agencies to fetch them from their ships.

“Manning agencies or agents of the 18 cruise ships still in Manila Bay are now arranging their disembarkation from their cruise ships either by docking the ship itself on Pier 15 or fetching them by tender boats so they can board buses bound for various destinations like the airport, different cities or to board sea-going ships arranged by OWWA,” he said in a statement.

He urged the agencies to “speed up” the repatriation of these seafarers as they have already been issued certificates.

The more than 5,000 seafarers are part of the 24,000 OFWs who have been stranded while waiting for their test results for COVID-19.

The government has so far sent home 10,000 OFWs through flights and buses, Geslani said.

“OWWA Administrator Atty, Hans Caccac said that they will finish the mass evacuation this week except for those who still have not received their PCT certificates,” he added.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier ordered OWWA, Department of Labor and Employment and Department of Health (DOH) to send home 24,000 stranded OFWs in one week.