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House resolution urges shipowners to divert vessels from dangerous Red Sea, Gulf of Aden

House resolution urges shipowners to divert vessels from dangerous Red Sea, Gulf of Aden
Ellson Quismorio Mar 16, 2024

House Committee on Overseas Workers Affairs Chairman Kabayan Party-list Rep. Ron Salo wants to be more proative when it comes to protecting Filipino seafarers from life-threatening attacks.

House Resolution (HR) No.1651, which Salo filed with a handful of other solons, sought urgent measures to safeguard the lives and well-being of seafarers amid ongoing attacks on commercial shipping in the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea.

The resolution echoes the calls made by the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) and the Associated Marine Officers' and Seamen's Union of the Philippines (AMOSUP).

Specifically, It urges shipowners to divert vessels from the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden until the safety of seafarers can be guaranteed.

The measure was filed in response to recent incidents, including the missile strike on the M/V True Confidence off the Yemeni Coast, which resulted in the tragic loss of two Filipino crew members; and the hostage-taking of Filipino seafarers aboard the Galaxy Leader cargo ship by Houthi armed groups.

"We stand in solidarity with our seafarers and their families in the face of these grave threats," Salo said.

Highlighting the continuous attacks on commercial vessels by Houthi forces since October 2023, the resolution underscores the consensus among seafarer organizations that the area in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden is unsafe for transit due to the escalating conflict.

Acknowledging the challenges faced by shipowners in providing adequate protection for vessels and crew, the resolution calls on maritime stakeholders, concerned United Nations (UN) organizations, and government agencies to implement effective safety measures without delay.

It also calls on the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) to engage with international actors and authorities to adopt appropriate measures ensuring the safety of Filipino seafarers.

The Philippines is among the major sources of sailors in the world.