THE Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (Owwa) on Friday, September 25, 2020, assured families of 11 Filipino seafarers who are stranded in a ship docked in China that they will be repatriated in the next two weeks.
In a televised press briefing, Owwa Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac said they have already coordinated with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) regarding the repatriation efforts.
"There is already an impending repatriation either this coming week or first week of October for our beloved stranded seafarers in China, all 11 of them," said Cacdac.
For the moment, he said Owwa and the Philippine Consulate General in China are providing assistance to the stranded crew members of Ocean Star 86.
He said they have already brought home over 100 stranded seafarers from China.
"At first, there were over 100 seafarers stranded in China, with around 106 already having returned home. These are the remaining 11 by our count," said Cacdac.
The 11 Filipino seafarers from the Ocean Star 86 have been stranded - at sea and recently at a port in China - for one year and nine months.
According to Migrante International, the employment contracts of the 11 have long expired in 2019, but they were still being forced to work inside the ship under subhuman conditions, such as being forced to drink seawater and being fed inadequately. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)