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Filipino crew of Diamond Princess cruise ship eyed for Bagong Bayani Awards

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The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is mulling the nomination of the Filipino crew of the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship for Bagong Bayani Awards (BBA), a national search for the country’s outstanding and exemplary overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

In an interview Wednesday, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the department is considering the nomination of the Filipino workers for the continuing services they provided to passengers even while under quarantine.

“What they have done is really commendable. While they are being quarantined, they were servicing around 3,000 passengers of the cruise ship. Otherwise, they could have all the reason to take the rest because they were being quarantined – but instead of doing that, they continue servicing the 3,000 passengers of the cruise,” he said.

The award is given by the Bagong Bayani Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization that works with the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).

It pays tribute to the OFWs and provides proper recognition to nominees with exemplary services that bring pride to the country.

Bello said the manning agency who deployed the Filipino crew members has committed to redeploy them.

“In other words, they will not be permanently staying here, they will be working again,” Bello said.

The OWWA Board of Trustees agreed to provide P10,000 financial assistance and free transport from Manila to the home region of the repatriated crew members, Bello added.

Early this week, the Filipino crew arrived in the country from Yokohama, Japan where the cruise ship was stationed.

The crew was all checked for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) symptoms before entering the quarantine facility in New Clark City. (PNA)

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