Filipino seafarers on board the ship damaged by a Russian missile in the Black Sea are due to be repatriated, according to the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) on Sunday.
In a radio interview, the DMW officer in charge Undersecretary Hans Cacdac stated that they were already arranging with the manning agency for the crew members’ quick repatriation.
Since the vessel was hit, it is understood that it would be better if they were momentarily brought home to their respective families, Cacdac said in a statement.
Repatriation is being arranged because they were in an unusual situation. Hopefully, they will be able to return home in due course, he continued.
Cacdac stated that the agency was able to communicate with the Filipino workers via video conferencing.
According to the DMW spokesman, the three were the only individuals injured since they were on the bridge at the time of the attack.
39 Pinoys at the border
Meanwhile, Cacdac stated that the 39 Filipinos still in Gaza were anticipated to cross the Rafah crossing into Egypt “as soon as possible.”
Despite the high-security concern, many overseas Filipino workers (abbreviated OFWs) in Israel are still hesitant to request repatriation aid from the Philippine government, according to Cacdac.
Many of the OFWs have been in Israel for a long time. They are already accustomed to the local culture and traditions. This is most likely why they continue to stay, he stated.
Per him, an all-Filipino crew boarded the Liberian-flagged civilian ship targeted by the missile.
Following the incident, three of the 24 members of the crew were injured.
One of the three who were injured, an engine trainee, suffered a left-hand fracture. He was immediately taken to a hospital and underwent a successful surgery, according to Cacdac, who added that the two others had minor injuries.
Most of them are caregivers so they have the duty to care for elders, he said.
A seventh wave of OFWs is expected to arrive today (Monday) aboard the Etihad Airways flight EY424 from Israel, according to the DMW.
To date, there have been 37 OFWs on this flight, the airline noted in an advisory.
Cacdac stated that the repatriation program would continue to be available to all OFWs in Israel.
The number of those seeking repatriation continues to rise, so our efforts will merely continue, he added, adding that 184 Israeli OFWs have already been deported in stages.
The three were the only ones hurt as they were at the bridge as the attack happened, stated an official from the DMW.
Cacdac stated that they were going to keep providing repatriation to OFWs in other conflict-affected areas.
He expects nine OFWs from Lebanon to make an appearance in Manila later this week, adding that 20 OFWs from the nation were already deported over the weekend.
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