MV Renuar, a Panama-flagged and Liberian-owned bulk cargo vessel, was
abducted on 11 December 2010 in the Indian Ocean, approximately 1050
nautical miles east of the Somali coast and a distance of 550 nautical
miles from the coast of India.
The vessel was en route to Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates from
Port Louis in Mauritius when it was taken over.
Captain Gaudencio Collado, Armed Forces of the Philippines Liaison
Officer to the Combined Maritime Forces, and the vessel’s local
manning agency reported to the DFA that the 24 Filipino seafarers are
all in good condition.
The vessel is now sailing to Fujairah, and arrangements for the
repatriation of the 24 Filipino seafarers to Manila are being made.
To date, there are still 79 Filipino seafarers on board nine vessels that the
Somali pirates hold in captivity.
The Philippine government has undertaken measures to minimize the
exposure of Filipino seafarers to piracy attacks, including making
arrangements with ship principals and manning agencies for vessels to
travel along a safety corridor and to adopt best management practices
as a deterrence to piracy attacks.
The Philippine government has likewise taken up the issue of maritime
safety and security in the Gulf of Aden and in the Indian Ocean before
the United Nations and other international organizations. The
Philippines is a member of the intergovernmental Contact Group on
Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS), according to the DFA press statement.
Last year, CMF-AFPLO Captain Collado was also deployed with the
Combined Maritime Fleet in Manama, Bahrain, to assist in the latter’s
efforts to prevent piracy attacks.
5 January 2010 – Filipino seafarers scored a significant victory in labor protection when a Greek court directed the owner of MV Aetea Sierra to pay higher salaries to its crew, the Philippine Embassy in Athens reported to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Monday.
Under a court order issued on 21 December 2009, the award to be given to the crew, including 12 Filipinos, was calculated using Greek wage standard which is about four times more than what the seafarers would have received on wages stipulated in their contracts.
The award would cover the period from 9 July to 9 November, while the residual claims shall follow to cover the period starting 10 November 2009 until the date of the seafarers’ actual departure from Greece to the Philippines.
The Filipino crew of MV Aetea Sierra sought the assistance of the Embassy after negotiations with the Greek vessel owner for their unpaid salaries and damages failed.
The seafarers also filed a case against the vessel owner. A Filipino ship engineer is represented by a Greek lawyer offered by the Embassy while lawyers of the International Transport Federation (ITF) are assisting the rest of the Filipino crew.
The Philippine Embassy is already making arrangements for the Filipino seafarers’ repatriation. Eleven of them have completed their contracts and have signified their wish to go home.
13 November 2009
MANILA- Here is a bit of breather for overseas Filipino workers and their families.
Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Marianito Roque foresees that as the world economies recover in 2010, demand for OFWs will be sustained in traditional markets such as the Middle East, Guam, HongKong and in emerging markets such as Canada, Australia, Korea, Macau, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Caribbean Islands, Slovenia, and Croatia.
Demand for Filipino seafarers overseas will also be sustained despite closure of some shipping lines in Japan and other countries, he likewise predicts.
Roque stressed on Thursday that the prospects for better employment situation both for local and overseas will receive further boost from spending and activities for the national elections in 2010. These, he said, are seen to make a significant dent on unemployment which stands at 7.7 percent compared to 7.4 percent posted in January last year. Among the regions, the highest unemployment rate was recorded in the NCR at 14.0 percent during the same period, according to National Statistics Office (NSO) Labor Force Survey.
He said the employment prospects for Filipino workers will offset job losses that may arise in the manufacturing sector that may be affected by contraction in exports. He said joblessness in this sector that may result from reduced exports would have minimal impact on the overall employment picture as employment in this sector constitutes only 8.3 percent of the total 35.5 million employed persons in the country.
Roque is optimistic that efforts to sustain the “resiliency” of the economy coupled with continued demand for OFWs and election activities are expected to buck joblessness and pave for a brighter employment situation in 2010.
He further said the employment picture in the country in 2010 is seen to be better than this year as the government has already set in place measures to sustain the economic resiliency program to enable the country take advantage of the projected global economic rebound in 2010.
He said the new resiliency program will prepare the country for the projected global upturn in 2010 by focusing on investments in new industries such as renewable energy, the green industries, information and communications technology, and science, technology and innovation which in turn are expected to generate new jobs for the workers. (Gloria Esguerra Melencio)