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35 Filipino seafarers detained in Namibia now home

35 Filipino seafarers detained in Namibia now home
Dan Navarro 20 March 2023

Thirty-five Filipino seafarers were brought home to the country after seven months of detainment in Namibia, a country in Southwest Africa, OFW Partylist reported on Monday.

In a Facebook post, the organization said that the concerned OFWs were repatriated from 15 to 19 March, through joint efforts of Philippine government agencies, the Philippine Embassy in Pretoria, and the Namibian Government.

OFW Partylist Representative Marissa Magsino led the welcoming of OFWs, alongside Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Eduardo De Vega, Migrant Workers Undersecretary Hans Leo Cacdac and Assitant Secretary Francis Ron de Guzman, and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Administrator Arnell Ignacio.

The 35 seafarers were already working as far as 21 years ago but were reported to have been captured and detained by Namibian authorities due to their company’s involvement in illegal fishing.

OFW Partylist also said that in their accounts, the seafarers have also experienced delayed and incomplete wages, as well as contract breaches by their employers.

In a statement, Magsino vowed to reach out to the DMW on their investigation of possible welfare violations committed by their respective agencies.

“[The] agencies […] brought them to Namibia without sufficient documents, grabbed their salaries that they should be receiving, and ignoring them committing potential crimes and be detained for seven months,” Magsino said.