Abandoned in Malta,15 PH seamen return
MANILA, Philippines—Fifteen Filipino seamen are now back in the Philippines with their loved ones following their repatriation from Malta on April 18, Good Friday, after being stranded for eight months on Maltese waters.
The seafarers formed part of the crew of the MV B Lady Bug. The company that owned the vessel went bankrupt and abandoned the crew.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), citing a report from the Philippine Embassy in Italy, yesterday said the long-wait came to an end on April 17 when the Filipino sailors finally disembarked from the ship, which was made possible by a Maltese court’s decision to approve the sale of the vessel to new owners.
The Filipinos were replaced with a new crew and given financial settlement, including back pay, allowances and repatriation cost.
The DFA thanked Consul Enrique Pingol, labor department officials, Maltese government officials and the International Transport Workers’ Federation for assisting the seafarers during the negotiations for their disembarkation and coordinating their repatriation.
“The entire crew conveyed heartfelt appreciation for all the support provided them by Filipino and Maltese authorities to see through to a positive end of their ordeal. [They] arrived in the Philippines on April 19, in time for the Easter celebration,” the DFA said.
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