WEEKS after the designation of the Red Sea and the Bab El-Mandeb Strait as "high-risk areas", Filipino seafarers remain determined to go on board marine vessels passing through the area, according to the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW).
In an interview, DMW Officer-in-Charge Undersecretary Hans Leo Cacdac said they have yet to receive reports of Filipino seafarers refusing to pass through the Red Sea and the Bab El-Mandeb Strait.
"We have yet to get such a report. Our seafarers are resilient," noted Cacdac.
Just before Christmas Day, the International Bargaining Forum (IBF) agreed to designate the Red Sea and the Bab El-Mandeb Strait as "high-risk areas."
This came on the heels of the series of drone, missile and armed attacks on vessels traversing in the area since November.
Despite this, Cacdac said that the DMW is looking after the welfare of the Filipino sea-based workers, and is hopeful that they won't take much risks.
"Having said that, their safety is still paramount," said the DMW chief.
He also said the government is hoping that the situation in the "high-risk" areas will start to improve.
"We are hoping the situation there will improve. We are hoping that the increase in global trade activity that transpired in 2023 will carry over to 2022," said Cacdac. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)