THE Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) is ordering shipping companies with Philippine-flagged ships to prepare to assist in the repatriation of Filipino workers from the Middle East if the need arises.
MARINA’s Flag State Advisory 2020-01 called on shipping companies and maritime enterprises on the contingency measures they should take concerning the escalating conflict between US and Iran.
The advisory, signed by MARINA’s Officer in Charge, Vice-Admiral Narciso A. Vingson Jr, said shipping lines and companies should “render assistance to any OFWs including evacuation, taking into consideration the safety and welfare of both crew members and OFWs.”
It also called on Philippine-registered ships “to accept if necessary, OFWs being repatriated.”
Shipping companies were also directed to notify the Philippine Embassy or Consulate of their ship’s presence in potential conflict areas to render assistance when needed.
MARINA also called on manning agencies to closely monitor the status of Filipino seafarers who are in Iran, Iraq, and Kuwait until tensions dissipate. According to MARINA Advisory 2020-02, these agencies are required to submit to MARINA a monthly report of seafarers deployed to Iran, Iraq, and Kuwait for the time being.
It also called on Filipino seafarers to render assistance to OFW evacuees on request. — Gillian M. Cortez