Duterte ask DFA to assist Filipino seafarers stranded on ships abroad
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday directed the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to help Filipino seafarers stranded on ships abroad amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I would like to direct the foreign affairs department: Kindly check and do a validation report if there are Filipnos stranded in the area of your responsibility where you are assigned,” Duterte, speaking partly in Filipino, said in a taped address.
He said some of these ships were not docked but were in the middle of the sea.
“They have not been able to dock at get off. They were driven away. and they are floating, just like flotsam — floating without knowing what tomorrow will bring for them,” he said.
“Kindly check on this and maybe we can also request to the government, the home government: Please do all that all you can. Whatever that effort is, try to just go out and help the Filipinos. We pity them. And a human being should never never be a commodity that’s just left behind,” he went on.
There are many Filipinos among the 400,000 seafarers who have reportedly remained confined aboard their ships, unable to go ashore due to global travel restrictions imposed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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