News Release

Department of Labor and Employment

7 April 2019

 

Sustained assistance for repatriated seafarers from Libya

 

The labor department has assured the seven Filipino seafarers who were recently repatriated from Libya of sustained assistance, including making representation with their manning agency for the payment of their unclaimed wages and benefits.

 

Apart from financial and livelihood aid, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said that DOLE will extend necessary assistance to the seafarers and their families to help them start anew.

 

“We will coordinate with the manning agency to hasten the payment of their unpaid wages onboard and your other monetary benefits. The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration is also ready to provide extended assistance for their reintegration through livelihood assistance and skills training,” Bello said.

 

The seafarers and their respective families visited DOLE on Thursday to thank Bello for the government’s help in having them released from Libyan detention last month, and asked for assistance as their manning agency, the Bright Maritime Corporation (BMC) failed to remit their benefits, including accrued salary from February 2018 to March 2019.

 

Also, ship captain Arturo Taleño, who is among those repatriated seafarers said their agency is still not providing their hazard pay, insurance pay on their lost belongings, as well as their post-medical expenses.

“We are grateful to the DOLE for providing us necessary assistance to get back on track and we hope that they can help us again in claiming our unpaid benefits from our agency,” Taleño said.

 

While waiting for their money claims, Bello meanwhile encouraged the repatriated seafarers to avail of the reintegration programs of OWWA, such as the Balik-Pinas! Balik-Hanapbuhay! Program, Enterprise Development and Loan Program, and educational scholarships for their children.

 

The said seafarers were detained in Libya in 2017 for alleged fuel smuggling and later acquitted by the Libyan High Court on February 28. They returned home on March 12 through the close coordination among government agencies. END/Abegail De Vega  

 

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Umuwing seafarer mula sa Libya patuloy na tutulungan 

 

Tiniyak ng labor department sa pitong Filipino seafarer, na umuwi kamakailan mula sa Libya, na patuloy silang tutulungan ng pamahalaan, pati ang pag-aayos sa pagbabayad ng kanilang sahod at iba pang benepisyo mula sa kanilang manning agency.

 

Maliban sa tulong-pinansiyal at pangkabuhayan, sinabi ni Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III na ibibigay ng DOLE ang lahat ng kinakailangang tulong ng mga seafarer at ng kanilang pamilya para sa kanilang muling pagsisimula.

 

“Makikipag-ugnayan kami sa inyong manning agency upang mapabilis ang pagbibigay ng inyong sahod at iba pang monetary benefit na hindi ninyo pa natatanggap noong nakasakay pa kayo sa barko. Nakahanda rin ang Overseas Workers Welfare Administration sa pagbibigay ng karagdagang tulong para sa inyong reintegrasyon sa pamamagitan ng tulong-pangkabuhayan at karagdagang pagsasanay,” ani Bello.

 

Dumalaw ang mga seafarer at ang kani-kanilang pamilya sa DOLE nitong nakaraang Huwebes para pasalamatan si Bello sa ibinigay na tulong ng pamahalaan para sila makalaya mula sa kanilang pagkakakulong sa Libya nitong nakaraang buwan. Humiling din sila ng tulong sa DOLE para makaharap ang kanilang manning agency, ang Bright Maritime Corporation (BMC), para maibigay ang kanilang mga benepisyo, gayundin ang kanilang sahod mula Pebrero 2018 hanggang Marso 2019.

 

Sinabi rin ni ship captain Arturo Taleño, isa sa mga na-repatriate na seafarer, na hindi rin sila nakatanggap sa kanilang agency ng hazard pay, insurance pay para sa kanilang mga nawalang personal na gamit, gayundin ang kanilang post-medical expense.

 

“Lubos kaming nagpapasalamat sa DOLE sa pagbibigay ng nararapat na tulong upang muli kaming makabawi at umaasa kami na muli nila kaming matutulungan para matanggap namin ang mga benepisyong hindi pa ibinibigay ng aming agency,” ani Taleño.

 

Habang hinihintay nila ang kanilang money claim, hinikayat ni Bello ang mga umuwing seafarer na maaari nilang mapakinabangan ang mga reintegration program ng OWWA, tulad ng Balik-Pinas! Balik-Hanapbuhay! Program, Enterprise Development and Loan Program, at educational scholarship para sa kanilang mga anak.

 

Ang mga nasabing seafarer ay nakulong sa Libya noong 2017 dahil sa umano’y pagnanakaw ng langis at kalaunan ay napawalang-sala ng Libyan High Court nitong Pebrero 28.

 

Nakabalik sila ng Pilipinas nitong Marso 12 dahil na rin sa koordinasyon ng iba’t ibang ahensiya ng pamahalaan.

 

END/Abegail De Vega/gmea

 

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