MANILA, Philippines – Following the string of hijacking incidents in Somali waters, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Tuesday announced it will ban Filipino seafarers from boarding ships passing through the pirate-prone area.
A report over radio dzBB quoted DFA Undersecretary for Migrant Worker Affairs Esteban Conejos as saying that it is only fitting to issue an “employment ban" on Somalia because of the surge in hijacking attacks.
According to the DFA, a total of 54 Filipino seafarers have been abducted in Somali waters since July this year, prompting the government agency to propose the ban.
Conejos had earlier confirmed the death of a Filipino crew member - Jayson Dumagat - in one of the ships that was hijacked off the coast of Somalia last August 21.
On Friday last week, five Filipino seamen were among the 36 crew members of a chemical tanker that was hijacked in the Gulf of Aden, off the coast of Yemen.
Conejos added that the DFA will work closely with the Department of Labor and Employment to assess the application of Filipino seafarers planning to work on pirate-prone waters. - GMANews.TV