President Marcos Expresses Condolences to Families of Seafarers

This handout photograph taken on Wednesday, March 6, 2024, and released by the Indian Navy shows the rescue operation of crew members of a Barbados-flagged bulk carrier by the Indian Navy after an attack by Yemen’s Houthi rebels. AFP PHOTO
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PRESIDENT Ferdinand Marcos Jr. expressed his deepest sympathies to the families of the two Filipino seafarers who tragically lost their lives in a missile strike by Houthi rebels on a cargo vessel off Yemen last week. The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) has confirmed that three other Filipinos were severely injured in the attack.

In a statement posted on X (formerly Twitter), President Marcos said, “I join the nation in offering our deepest sympathies to the families of the two Filipino seafarers who perished in the Houthi attack on True Confidence. The government is in constant contact with their families, and we will spare no effort in bringing their remains home.”

President Marcos also highlighted that there are “13 surviving Filipino seafarers” who are currently in Djibouti. The Philippine Embassy in Cairo is providing them with assistance to ensure their safe return to the Philippines as soon as possible.

In response to the incident, the Chief Executive has directed several government agencies, including the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the DMW, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and the Department of Health (DoH), to provide the necessary assistance to the affected seafarers and their families.

The MV True Confidence, a Barbados-flagged bulk carrier, was en route from China to Jeddah and Aqaba, carrying a cargo of steel products and trucks when it came under attack by Houthi rebels approximately 50 nautical miles southwest of Aden. At least 15 Filipino crew members were on board the vessel at the time of the incident.

President Marcos has also joined the global call for an end to the conflict and for full respect of the principle of freedom of navigation. He emphasized that the safety and welfare of Filipino seafarers and overseas Filipino workers in the region remain a top priority for the government.

This tragic incident serves as a reminder of the risks that Filipino seafarers and overseas workers face in their line of work. The Philippines has a significant number of citizens working in various maritime industries around the world, and incidents like this highlight the importance of implementing robust safety measures and providing adequate support to ensure their well-being.

The government’s swift response in providing assistance to the affected seafarers and their families demonstrates its commitment to their welfare. Efforts to bring the remains of the deceased seafarers back to their families underscore the government’s dedication to supporting its citizens, even in the face of adversity.

As the nation mourns the loss of these two seafarers, it is crucial to remember their contributions to the maritime industry and to honor their memory by continuing to strive for the safety and well-being of all Filipino seafarers and overseas workers.

President Marcos’ heartfelt condolences and the government’s unwavering commitment to the safety and welfare of Filipino seafarers and overseas workers send a strong message of support to the affected families and the entire Filipino community.

It is our hope that this tragic incident will serve as a catalyst for increased efforts to ensure the safety and protection of Filipino seafarers and overseas workers, both in this region and around the world.

Source: The Manila Times

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