MANILA, Philippines – The 12 seafarers who were stranded in their ship at Valencia, Spain have arrived in the country, and blamed their agency, the Status Maritime Corporation.
The 12 seafarers are asking that the Status Maritime Corporation be held responsible for their ordeal. The seafarers were stranded for 8 months in Spain because of violations and debts.
The seafarers said that they suffered greatly as they barely had anything to eat. Moreover, their wages were not paid for the 8 months that they were stranded.
Their families were also gravely affected.
“Roberto” is blaming the agency for his father’s death, saying that because he was not paid, he could not help buy medicine for his father. His mother is also set to undergo an operation for breast cancer.
“Masama talaga loob ko… Tatay ko namatay, walang pambili ng gamot,” Roberto said.
Meanwhile, “Alex” should be celebrating his birthday, but instead feels angry because he cannot give any money to his family.
The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) says the seafarers’ agency and foreign employer will have to pay their wages.
“If they don’t, they will face sanctions,” OWWA Administrator Carmelita Dimzon said. She added that they will determine whether criminal charges can be filed against the agency.
Status Martime Corporation, for its part, said they will fulfill their obligation to the seafarers.
The seafarers are currently staying in an OWWA halfway home while their transportation is being arranged. With a report from Jasmin Romero, ABS-CBN News