June 25, 2024

The Insider News

Direct from the source

Marcos orders best assistance to Filipino seafarers rescued from Houthi attack

FOLLOWING the directive of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Tuesday said they are coordinating their efforts with other concerned agencies to provide the best assistance to the surviving Filipino seafarers rescued from the recent Houthi attack.

“To speak of this issue, so following the President’s directive, we’ve been providing the best assistance that we could in coordination with the manning agency which is, of course, primarily responsible for working on the return of the seafarers,” DFA Undersecretary Eduardo De Vega said.

In a press briefing, De Vega said they sent a team from the Philippine Embassy in Cairo, Egypt to personally give the initial financial assistance of USD1,000 each to the affected Filipino seamen.

“So, what happened was, we sent an embassy team from Cairo, our closest embassy, to meet the 13 surviving seafarers, including the three who were in the hospital, who are in the hospital. We provided the first tranche of financial assistance – this was from the Department of Foreign Affairs, we gave them a thousand dollars each – and to check on their repatriation,” he said.

De Vega said 11 of the 13 survivors are coming home late Tuesday, while the remaining two will follow through an air ambulance, to which he assured that they are closely working with the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW), and the manning agency for their immediate repatriation to recuperate from their injuries.

“There are 11 coming home tonight (Tuesday); two more via special, not on commercial flight but via special ambulance, air ambulance – this is under the DMW – in the next few days where they will, of course, also be welcomed and assisted,” De Vega said.

“This is all and part of the Philippines long-standing efforts to protect and assist our seafarers and their families and, of course, in pursuant to the directive of the President,” he added.

De Vega added that some government officials and legislators had offered to give assistance packages to welcome the 11 returning seamen.

President Marcos recently joined global calls “for the end to this conflict and for full respect for the principle of freedom of navigation” emphasizing the government’s commitment to ensure the safety and welfare of the Filipino seafarers and overseas Filipino workers.