Labor and Employment Acting Secretary Manuel G. Imson today confirmed that six Filipino seafarers have been rescued off the coast of South Africa and are now in safe condition after their ship sank in turbulent weather in the area on May 4.

The six rescued Filipino seamen, all crewmembers of the bulk carrier MV Alexandros T, are as follows:

Allan O. Omol, 4th engineer; Aljess F. Miranda, bosun; Lee M. Alemania, deckboy; Elizer B. Paulino, deckboy; Reantonio L. Vergara, deck cadet; and Sherie R. Montano, engineboy.

Imson said that search and rescue operations conducted by South African authorities continue in the area for several other Filipino crewmen believed missing after the ship sank.

The ship’s manning agents in the Philippines, the InterOrient Maritime Enterprises, Inc., confirmed in a report to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) that a total of 24 Filipino seafarers, including the six earlier rescued, were manning the vessel when it sank.

As this developed, Imson directed POEA and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) to coordinate the necessary efforts to assist the seafarers and their families.

He directed the OWWA to facilitate the provision of appropriate welfare assistance for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) including seafarers.

Under OWWA rules, documented OFWs are entitled to a life insurance of P100,000, an accidental insurance of P200,000, disability, and other benefits as OWWA members.

Imson likewise instructed the POEA to closely coordinate with the responsible manning agency in monitoring the progress of the search and rescue operations and to pursue the necessary benefits.

“We shall ensure that the six rescued seamen are repatriated safely as soon as possible to the Philippines even as we coordinate efforts to monitor the continuing search operations for the missing others,” he assured.

source: Information and Publication Service

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