Buhay OFW

Ship owner asks until weekend to pay the seamen

Just when the case is about to get filed, the owner of the ship on Monday, October 3, 2016 reached out to the Filipino seafarers asking them to wait until weekend (October 8-9) to raise the money for their salaries. They were told that the ship will be sold to raise money.

The owner has also promised to provide them diesel and fresh water as the cargo ship they have all been boarding since arriving in June is expected to run out of diesel by Thursday, October 6.

According to Ronald Rafanan, one of the seafarers, the main engine of cargo ship M/V Panormitis will die out by Thursday and the emergency generator will be used instead. However, most of ship’s equipment such as the pump which provides water inside the ship, the electric stove for cooking and the refrigerator where they stock food will not function as the generator can only power up the lights in the ship. When this happens, living aboard the ship will be more difficult.

“Wala pong problema sa pagkain. Makaka-survive kami gamit ang bigas na binigay ng Filipino Community at sa pamamagitan ng pangingisda tuwing gabi,” Rafanan added in a phone interview with PinoyThaiyo.

Rafanan is one of the 16 Pinoy seamen stranded in the Gulf of Koh Si Chang in Chonburi since June 16 after the shipping company they work for failed to pay their wages. They haven’t been paid for almost seven months now. They work for ARPHAPHIL Shipping Corporation in Makati, Philippines which is under Unibulk Shipping Corporation in Greece.

Meanwhile, another letter came on Tuesday morning asking them for the list of seamen who want to join at the discharging port and those who want to be discharged and get paid here in Thailand. Though a little apprehensive since many futile promises have already been made, the seamen decided to wait until this weekend.

According to Rafanan, 13 seamen have chosen to be discharged in Thailand and get paid here as well while the three others want to go to the discharging port in Sri Racha.

Both the Philippine and Thai governments have stepped in to help the seamen. The  Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Philippine Embassy in Thailand have been coordinating with the manning agency in the Philippines for faster repatriation and full resolution of the case.

OFW Quickservants United for Duterte has also been in constant communication with the seamen, Philippine Embassy and the POEA in Manila.

Three seafarers who want to go to the discharging port in Sri Racha.
Thirteen seafarers who have chosen to be discharged in Thailand and get paid here as well.