POEA suspends license of abandoned seafarers’ manning agency
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has suspended the license of the manning agency of around 10 Filipino seafarers who were reportedly abandoned in Fiji by their shipping company for their refusal to hand over their passports.
POEA Administrator Bernard Olalia said they checked if the Able Maritime Manning Agency managed to provide significant reports to help the seafarers who were deployed in February last year. However, Olalia said authorities found that the manning agency failed to properly monitor the stranded workers.
“Nakita po namin na nagkulang ‘yung manning agency sa pagmonitor sa ating mga seafarers kaya agad-agad po tayong nag-impose ng disciplinary action which led to the documentary suspension of the license of the said manning agency,” Olalia said in an online press briefing.
(We saw that the manning agency had lapses in monitoring the seafarers that’s why we immediately imposed a disciplinary action which led to the documentary suspension of the license of the said manning agency.)
“Until and unless the documentary suspension is lifted, they are barred from deploying any seafarer,” he added.
According to reports, the Filipino seafarers who were reportedly abandoned by their Fiji-based shipping company since December last year had no money or means of returning home to the Philippines.
Olalia said government authorities, especially the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), are working on the repatriation of the abandoned seafarers. He added that the POEA and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration are also coordinating with their families.
The DFA earlier ordered the Philippine embassy in Wellington, New Zealand, to assist the stranded Filipino seafarers.
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