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36 Pinoy fishers stranded in Fiji due to COVID back home

November 17, 2021 Cristina Lee-Pisco 221 views

A SPECIAL charter flight carrying 36 Filipino fishermen who were stranded in Fiji for more than two months after 19 of them tested positive for COVID-19, arrived safely at the Davao International Airport.

The Filipino fishermen were crew members of Chinese-operated fishing boats, who were originally scheduled to return to the Philippines on 20 August 2021. However, their scheduled departure did not push through when 19 of them tested positive for COVID-19 prior to their flight.

Apart from making arrangements for the fishermen’s repatriation and Philippine entry protocol requirements, quarantine amenities, and COVID-19 tests, they were also provided with welfare assistance of food and other essential items while still stranded in Fiji and awaiting their rescheduled flight.

In addition, the 19 fishermen who contracted COVID-19 were granted P10,000 financial aid for their aftercare under Overseas Workers Welfare Administration’s (OWWA) Alagang Kabayan Project, while the rest of the workers received ?5,000.00 cash assistance from the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

These were accomplished through the collective efforts and resources of a team of agencies under the Philippine Embassy in Wellington, New Zealand, comprised of its Assistance-To-Nationals Unit, its Philippine Overseas Labor Office, OWWA representation, as well as the Philippine Honorary Consulate General in Suva, Fiji. The team also closely coordinated with the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration and OWWA in Manila, and received crucial support from the Filipino community in Fiji.