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Pinoy Abroad

2 Pinoy seafarers stranded off Sri Lanka, seek gov't help

Two stranded Filipino seafarers off Sri Lanka are seeking government help after several of their fellow crew members died on their fishing vessel.

Interviewed on Unang Hirit on Thursday, one of the seafarers, Robert Maguigad, said they are already feeling sick and want to go home.

“Sana po matulungan po kami dito, sir, na makauwi po. At sana po madala po kami kaagad sa ospital kasi may mga nararamdaman po kami na hindi mabuti katulad ng pananakit ng tiyan at masakit na lalamunan,” he said.

According to Maguigad, four members of their fishing vessel had already died. Two of them are still stored inside a freezer on the ship.

Maguigad said the deceased crew members suffered from swelling and later on from difficulty in breathing. He said there are only two of them left in the fishing vessel who are Filipino, after one was sent home after being hospitalized.

According to him, they  have no access to clean water.

He said they already informed their agency about their condition, and that the agency replied that their concern has already been reported to a welfare officer.

“Sabi po kasi ng ahensya namin na ipinagbabawal daw po ng Presidente ang magpa-repatriate ng mga marine crew dito sa Sri Lanka,” he said.

Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) administrator Hans Leo Cacdac said concerned government departments will summon Maguigad’s manning agency.

He said OWWA will coordinate with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), and Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to address the two seafarers' appeal.

“We will talk to DOLE and POEA para siguraduhing agaran ‘yung pagpapatawag doon sa manning agency at para panagutin ‘yung manning agency,” Cacdac said.

For immediate help, Cacdac said concerned agencies will contact the labor office and port authorities in Sri Lanka that will respond to the stranded Filipino seafarers. --Joviland Rita/KBK, GMA News