Statement
Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III
June 12, 2020

We share the grief of the family of Filipino seafarer Mariah Jocson.

She set sail as a proud OFW last March 2019, filled with all the hopes and dreams of any young Filipino. Her loss brings us heartbreak and grief, and we express our deepest sympathies, prayers, and support to her family.

The circumstances of her untimely passing need to heighten greater awareness and advocacy on psycho-social needs and mental wellness of our OFWs awaiting repatriation.

First of all, we must find ways to facilitate their return. Second, an array of counselling and helpline services should always be available to our OFWs, especially those still onboard cruise ships.

I have directed the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and the concerned licensed manning agency (LMA) to immediately get in touch with the family of seafarer Jocson and assure them of all the support, assistance, and benefits.

We note that Mariah, 28 years old, an assistant waiter for the cruise ship Rhapsody of the Seas, was found lifeless in her cabin on board the ship Harmony of the Seas in Barbados, where she was transferred for repatriation purposes.

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For counselling, OWWA can be reached through Hotline 1348, with referral systems to the following mental wellness helplines:

Ugat Foundation – 0283700239/ FB: contactUGATsandaline
HOPELINE Philippines – 09188734673/ 09175584673
National Center for Mental Health – 09178998727/ 029898727
Philippine Red Cross – Hotline 1158
Konsulta MD – 79880 (Globe TM)/ 0277988000 (non-Globe/TM)
Bofill Psychological Services – 09238447755/ FB: BPS Psychological Services

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