Fifteen (15) Filipino seafarers are now back home in the Philippines with their loved ones after being repatriated from Malta last 18 April 2014 (Good Friday) following their 8-month ordeal stranded in Maltese waters on board the MV B Lady Bug. The company which owned the vessel went bankrupt and abandoned the crew.
The long-wait came to an end last April 17 as the 15 Filipino sailors finally disembarked from the ship, made possible by the Court of Malta’s decision to approve the sale of the vessel to With fresh funds available, a replacement crew was hired, which paved the way for the 15 Filipino seamen to leave the ship. The Filipino crew also received favorable financial settlement which included the payment of their back wages/allowances (with interests) and repatriation costs.
For eight months, the Philippine Embassy in Rome actively led coordination efforts to assist the Filipinos on board MV B Lady Bug with the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Labor and Employment in Manila, and through Mr. Paul Falzon of the International Transport Workers’ Federation, Mr. Kevin Attard and the government authorities The Embassy further ensured that the 15 Filipino seamen were properly assisted until the end with their disembarkation in Malta, meeting with Maltese lawyers to settle their unpaid wages/allowances and repatriation to the Philippines. Present in Malta was the Embassy’s Consul Enrique V. Pingol who travelled all the way from Rome.
The entire crew conveyed heartfelt appreciation for all the support provided them by Filipino and Maltese authorities to see through to a positive end of their ordeal. Crew arrived in the Philippines on April 19, in time for the Easter celebrations.
Press release by the Department of Foreign Affairs, 24 April 2014.