MANILA – The 441 crew members of the MV Diamond Princess cruise ship have been provided cash and transportation assistance by the government and their manning agency during their send-off on Thursday, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) reported on Friday.
In a statement, the OWWA said the seafarers received cash assistance amounting to PHP10,000 each and were provided transport service after completing the mandatory 14-day quarantine.
The awarding of the financial aid amounting to PHP4.41 million was held at New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac in the early morning of March 11, 2020.
The 441 Filipino crew were onboard the cruise ship affected by coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) that was quarantined at the Port of Yokohoma in Japan for 14 days.
On February 25, the crew were repatriated by the Department of Foreign Affairs and were brought straight to the facility in Tarlac for another 14 days of quarantine.
After being cleared from the virus by the Department of Health (DOH), they were finally allowed to go to their respective home destinations.
For the transport service, OWWA provided bus service that brought 81 seafarers to Clark International Airport and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, and airline tickets for their return to their remote home provinces.
Following the strict orders of the DOH, which controls the activities in New Clark City, the Repatriation Assistance Team of OWWA, headed by Director Jocelyn Hapal and OWWA Region 3 Director Esperanza Cobbarubias, conducted the delivery of welfare assistance.
Magsaysay Maritime Corporation, the manning agency of the seafarers, similarly provided land transport service to the OFWs back to Manila. (PNA)