Breaking Philippines news! Department of Health-Bureau reported 822 Filipino seafarers arrived to the Philippines today
As the numbers of distressed land and sea-based Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) continue to grow, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and all of its Foreign Service posts is unwavering in its mission to bring Filipinos home amid the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic. To date, it has successfully facilitated the return of 12,970 distressed OFWs.
This morning, for example, the DFA welcomed home the Filipino crew members of MS Norwegian Epic, MS Marina and MS Norwegian Spirit at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) who arrived on two separate chartered flights.
Upon arrival of the 822 seafarers, the Department of Health-Bureau of Quarantine (DOH-BOQ) conducted mandatory quarantine inspection and briefing for the repatriated seafarers. The seafarers of MS Norwegian Epic and MS Marina will undergo a 14-day facility-based quarantine while those of MS Norwegian Spirit will undergo home quarantine, following separate assessments made by the DOH-BOQ.
The Philippine Embassy in Washington DC coordinated the massive repatriation of the seafarers who were stranded in Miami, USA and in Barbados, in close cooperation with the repatriates’ local manning agency, CF Sharp, and cruise line companies, Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) for MS Norwegian Epic and Spirit and Oceania Cruises for MS Marina.
The DFA ensures the safe and successful repatriation of Filipinos in distress through close coordination and cooperation with its partner agencies — the DOH, the Bureau of Immigration (BI), the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and the Department of Transportation (DOTr) — through a whole-of-government approach, and the vital support of the private sector.
Since 01 April 2020, NCL spent for the repatriation of over 3,670 of its Filipino seafarers all over the world while Oceania Cruises took care of repatriating 189 Filipino seafarers, with assistance from the DFA.