The tremendous effects of piracy on the Filipino seafarers and their families

MPHRP-Day-of-the-Seafarer-2014In the Day of the Seafarer Celebration on June 25, the Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Programme (MPHRP) Regional Director in the Philippines and Southeast Asia, Rancho Villavicencio, engaged in a riveting talk on maritime piracy, its tremendous effects on the Filipino seafarers and their families and MPHRP's programs and services - before, during and after crisis.

The event was simultaneously spearheaded by the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) and the United Filipino Seafarers (UFS), held in front of the MARINA office and at the LUSWELF event area respectively, with this year's theme - "Pinoy Seafarers: Proudly Moving the World," attended by the heads of different associations in the maritime industry, government agencies, manning agencies and other stakeholders.

MPHRP Regional Director Villavicencio gave updates on the piracy situation around the world concerning the Filipino seafarers and addressed special importance on the 5 seafarers who have been held captive by the Somali pirates for 27 months now. During his Reassurance Home Visit to the families of the seafarers, he learned that they had been working on board for 18 months already but one of the wives boldly mentioned that her husband has sent them just twice within those months - the first is PHP8,000.00; the second, PHP5,000.00 only. Currently, the 5 seafarers are in captivity and away from their families for 45 months now.

RD Villavicencio also reiterated how the affected families suffer from deep anxiety, severe poverty and hopelessness due to the crisis on board. However, he guaranteed the Filipino seafarer crowd of the MPHRP's programmes and services for all the Filipino seafarers and their families who might be affected with piracy crisis at sea. Accordingly, he added that through the reassurance home visits to the affected families, they saw hope, found comfort and felt relieved to realise that MPHRP would care and look after them, especially in giving financial assistance for their basic needs.

Towards the end of the talk, MPHRP Philippines volunteers conducted a seafarer survey to the Filipino seafarers present in the celebration by personally identifying them or referring their fellow seafarers in addressing their piracy-related concerns. The survey is done to gather the necessary information about them to further extend help and assistance in their current situation.

MPHRP is solely committed to provide direct support to our seafarers and their families who are threatened or affected by piracy.

Source: MPHRP