The 13 Filipino seafarers, who had been stranded in China while on board their ship since last year, have been sent home.
They were barred by Chinese authorities from disembarking due to regulations in the country that allow it only in an emergency situation.
The seafarers were on board their ship M/V Angelic Power at Guishan Port in Zhuhai, Guangdong.
“The Filipino seafarers became stranded due to a maritime court case, a commercial dispute over a contract of carriage of goods at sea, involving the shipowner. The Guangzhou Maritime Court ordered the arrest/seizure of MV Angelic Power on April 14, 2021,” said the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
Some of the seafarers had expressed their intention to stay on the vessel until the case was resolved and the ship was sold so that all on board could reach home.
The Philippine Consulate General in Guangzhou had earlier expressed its readiness to start a special flight as a contingency to spare the employer or manning agency from incurring repatriation expenses.
“The Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs and the Philippine Consulate General in Guangzhou have been in close coordination with the shipping agent and the licensed manning agency, Magsaysay Maritime Corporation, on the concerns and welfare of the seafarers, including the payment of their salary. We are delighted that finally, after long months, they are all going home,” Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Sarah Lou Arriola said.
The seafarers arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Thursday morning in China Southern Airlines from Guangzhou.