FILIPINO seamen on board a ship that sank off Pacific Ocean after colliding with a Taiwanese vessel may seek assistance from the Manila Econonic and Cultural Office (MECO) and Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO), the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said yesterday.
“If the seamen are currently in Taiwan, the MECO POLO there will assist them,” said Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Eduardo Meñez.
Four Filipino survivors in the recent ship collision claimed they have yet to receive any assistance from the officials of MECO, more than two weeks after the incident happened.
They appealed to the DFA and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) on Thursday to help expedite the processing of their travel documents so they could go back to the Philippines.
In GMA’s Unang Balita interview, Jovencio Mariano, one of the survivors, explained they were not able to save any of their documents such as passports and seaman’s book when their ship, Korean Reefer Ship Momyo, sank following its collision with the Taiwanese vessel Viva Fafa on June 8.
The Filipinos were among the 31 passengers of the Korean reefer hit by a Taiwanese vessel in the Pacific Ocean between Papua New Guinea and Solomon Island.
They said that all 31 of them, including Indonesian, Korean, Vietnamese and Ghanian crew, are safe from the incident.
OWWA Administrator Hans Cacdac said they are just waiting for the four Filipino crew to finish their quarantine in Taiwan before they assist them in their return to the Philippines.
“Hinihintay lang natin syempre matapos ‘yung quarantine na ‘yun and then mauuwi natin sila nang ligtas. We also are in touch with the license manning agency and within the day, we will be in touch with all their families. So, no worries, they will be home safely and we will assure them of our full assistance,” he said in a Super Radyo dzBB interview.
Cacdac said the survivors will also be provided with financial, livelihood, and school assistance by OWWA.