Thirteen Filipino seafarers have long been stranded in China. They are lamenting and begging for help so that they can leave the vessel they have been stuck in for 17 months.
MV Angelic Power, a bulk carrier, is anchored in South China. The ship carrying the Filipino crew departed from Indonesia and reached Guangzhou port in 2020. But owing to the restrictions brought due to the pandemic and legal issues, the company has delayed homecoming.
The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has reportedly admitted that they were unable to finalize a date when Filipino seafarers could be able to head home due to the pandemic restrictions between the Philippines and China.
Leonardo Lansang has said that on Dec 11, the seafarers had been detained by the Guangzhou Maritime Court. This was due to an “economic dispute” continuing between Guangzhou South China Coal Trade Center Co, which is the cargo receiver, and Angeliki Dynamic Investment Corp., the vessel owners.
He also mentioned that their passports had been seized, leaving them “hostages.” He added that they were abandoned by the vessel owner.
Despite the POEA’s consistent assurances, the seafarers have been worried that they may not receive pay for the months they were not allowed to go home.
The seafarers have been saying that they work while they are on board and so they should receive their salaries.
POEA chief, Bernard Olalia, has said that they had directed the Magsaysay Maritime Corporation to pay a monthly payment that is retroactive from the time payment had been halted.
The Magsaysay Maritime Corporation has said that they have been tirelessly working to guarantee the welfare of seafarers. They have also advocated for their rights since they have come to know of the situation on the ship. They too want nothing less than the crew’s repatriation and prompt payment of what they owe.
The vessel and the owners are embroiled in legal proceedings that have been affecting their interests alongside the crew’s.
The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) has said that it will be in coordination with the Department of Foreign Affairs so that the consulate can satisfy the needs of the seafarers’.