Stranded Pinoy seafarers in Malta given noodles, medicines
MANILA – A two-man emergency response team from the Philippine Embassy in Rome was sent to Malta to determine the situation of 21 Filipino seafarers stranded on board cargo ship Lady Bug.
The team, composed of Consul General Leila Lora-Santos and Assistance-to-Nationals Officer Antonio Balladolid, boarded the ship and gave the Filipino crew noodles, drinking water and medicines.
They also were able to personally engage with the Filipino crew who were all well despite their challenging circumstances. Consular services such as extension of passports were likewise rendered by the team.
Their plight was reported last month when, during a phone interview with ABS-CBN News, seafarer Edgardo Hinobiagon said they had become desperate as they had already run out of fuel and were dangerously low on food and other supplies.
He said their Taiwanese shipping company abandoned them to fend for themselves following a major problem with the company's finances.
In the same interview, they complained that they had not received their salaries for three months already, even though 11 of them have already completed their contracts.
The seafarers were assured of the government's continued support and assistance in the resolution of their current situation, primarily the payment of their wages.
The Embassy expressed appreciation for the assistance extended by the Maltese government, the International Transport Workers' Federation in Malta (ITF-Malta) and the KShipping Company of Mr. Kevin Attard.