More Filipinos return home to the Philippines, over 300 from Germany

Filipino crewmembers of Sea Chefs and TUI Cruises prepare for boarding. (Berlin PE photo)

Over 300 Filipino crew members of Sea Chefs and TUI Cruises left for the Philippines from Hamburg, Germany on May 24, 2020 via a chartered TUI Airlines flight.

The seafarers had been awaiting repatriation for the last two months after their usual cruise liner routes, mainly in the Caribbean region, were suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Labor Attaché Delmer Cruz (left), Filipino seafarer Mardi Gonzales (second from left), and Philippine Ambassador to Germany Ma. Theresa Dizon-De Vega (third from left) discuss social amelioration benefits the seafarers could avail of upon returning. (Berlin PE photo)

Part of several thousand Sea Chefs and TUI Cruises employees of different nationalities, the Filipino crew, were assisted at the send-off by TUI Staff, Philippine Ambassador to Germany Ma. Theresa Dizon-De Vega, and Labor Attaché Delmer Cruz.

Left photo: Crew members commence boarding the chartered flight. (Right photo) Philippine Ambassador to Germany Ma. Theresa Dizon-De Vega confers with TUI representatives and Hamburg Airport Representatives on the procedure for check-in and boarding before the arrival of the passengers. (Berlin PE photo)

Prior to departure, Ambassador Dizon-De Vega expressed appreciation to the Filipino crew for their patience and understanding, “It has been a very difficult period for all of you and we look forward to the time when you can all come back to work in the cruise industry”. Ambassador Dizon-De Vega likewise thanked the companies for their coordination.

The Filipinos were briefed by Labor Attaché Cruz that they may apply for the government’s social amelioration program of AKAP at the different OWWA Regional Offices.

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