CF Sharp Repatriates Nearly 1,000 Philippine Seafarers

Roger Storey, managing director, CF Sharp

Published Mar 31, 2020 7:07 PM by The Maritime Executive

CF Sharp Crew Management reports that it is doing all it can to repatriate its crew from postings around the globe and has suspended crew deployments until further notice.

The Philippines-headquartered crew specialist says it has 100 crew members, recently returned from cruise vessels, currently undertaking a period of 14 days isolation in Manila before they may be reunited with their families, while a further 899 seafarers are due to arrive this week.

“Seafarers are a key priority and we, along with our clients, are putting all our efforts into bringing them home and reuniting them with their loved ones at this difficult time,” said Managing Director, CFSharp Crew Management, Singapore, Roger Storey

Mr Storey praised the company’s cruise lines clients for their support in assisting seafarers to get home. He reported: “Norwegian Cruise Lines has arranged two sweeper flights which, as long as they are not impeded by any ‘red tape’, are due to arrive in Manila on April 1st (445 seafarers) and April 2nd (454 seafarers).  We have reserved places for them all to undertake their compulsory 14-day quarantine.”

Most merchant ships have suspended crew changes for the immediate future and Mr Storey says his firm is working with seafarers to enable them to obtain financial aid from the Philippine Government’s Support for Seafarers scheme, administered by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).  

With the majority of airlines drastically reducing their flights and all Embassies suspending operations until further notice, Mr Storey says all shore employees’ efforts are currently focused on supporting the company’s at-risk crew to return home.

The vast majority of Sharp’s staff in the Philippines are now working from home. Meanwhile the company’s offices in Manila are again being ‘deep cleaned’ 

Strictly enforced restrictions in the Philippines require people to self-isolate and observe curfews. Residents need approval from their local Barangay (village/district office) in order to leave their place of residence and there are frequent check-points where travelers must justify the reason for their journey. Proof of legitimate business travel must include company ID as well as a covering letter explaining the reason for the travel.

Mr Storey advised: “Returning Filipino seafarers need to be made aware of the changes to normal life and business and of course the necessity of keeping safe and avoiding unnecessary risks of exposure to COVID19. We are all working together to keep everyone safe.”

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