DOLE lauds Pinoy crew involved in MH370 search

Posted at 03/26/14 12:32 PM

MANILA – The Department of Labor and Employment is confident that 20 Filipino seafarers onboard a merchant vessel will be a big help in the international effort to locate a missing Malaysian passenger plane.

The Pinoy seafarers are crew members of Norwegian International Ship (NIS) registered car carrier Hoegh St. Petersburg. The vessel is in Australian waters helping in the search for the missing jetliner.

"I am confident our seafarers onboard the Höegh St. Petersburg will perform what is expected of them. They are competent, very professional, and knowledgeable," Baldoz said.

MH 370 vanished while en route from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Beijing, China on March 8, 2014 with some 239 passengers and crew members on board.

Höegh St. Petersburg, under the auspices of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), is presently engaged in the search for debris thought to belong to the ill-fated Malaysian airliner off Perth, Australia in the southern Indian Ocean.

The ship was on its way from South Africa to Australia when it diverted its course to the area after the AMSA requested its assistance. It immediately conducted search operation after it arrived in the area on 20 March.

At the same time, Baldoz lauded Höegh Fleet Services Phils., Inc. (HFSP), a subsidiary of Höegh Fleet Services of Norway and the ship's owner, for its preference for overseas Filipino seafarers.

The DOLE chief directed the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration to work with Höegh Fleet Services Phils., Inc. in monitoring the ship and ensuring the welfare of the Filipino seafarers onboard the vessel. The company presently employs 1,500 Filipino seafarers.