More than 5 months stranded in an Egyptian port, twenty-nine out of the 32 Filipino seafarers will be arriving March 9 via Qatar Airways flight nos. 515 (Cairo-Doha) connecting to Manila flight no.646 (Doha-Manila), according to a Filipino migrants’ rights group that assisted the stranded Pinoy seamen.
On January 14, 2011, Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator John Leonard Monterona said on his electronic mail sent to Sekur Manning Incorporated, the Manila-based manning agent of the Pinoy seamen, he received a message from the latter requesting assistance as they have been stranded at Damiettaport, Egypt.
“They conveyed to me that they have been staying in Damietta for almost 3 months now without being paid of their salaries and even allotment to support their respective families in the Philippines. Some of them said they have already completed their contract but your principal, the Sekur Holdings, is not allowing them to be sent back in the Philippines,” Monterona stated on his Jan.14 email sent to Sekur Manning Inc.
Yesterday, March 6, Monterona confirmed that he received a reply from Sekur Manning Inc. through its Crewing officer Ms. Josephine T. Laurea confirming that 29 Pinoy seamen ‘will disembark as scheduled’, while ‘3 decided to stay on-board and continue to finish their contracts’.
Sekur Manning Inc. also stated that ‘all arriving Filipino Seafarers will meet at the Airport (in front of letters STUVW) where we can monitor them at screen (TV) by Ms. Josephine with other Office staffs.
“In light of this positive development, we will be coordinating with the Pinoy seamen to issue their consent upon arrival in the Philippines so that the suspension order imposed by the POEA against Sekur Manning Inc. will be lifted,” Monterona adding that it is entirely up to the Pinoy seamen if they will agree to move for the lifting of the suspension.
“I think, lifting of the suspension will only take effect only after the entitlements like unpaid salaries and other benefits due them will be given,” Monterona opined.
Monterona commended the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) for attending on the complaints of the Pinoy seamen. ‘In fairness to the POEA, they acted fast imposing a suspension to the manning agency so that the Pinoy seamen will be attended.
John Leonard Monterona
Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator