DMW bars deployment of Filipino seafarers to Red Sea, Gulf of Aden

By John Victor D. Ordoñez, Reporter

THE DEPARTMENT of Migrant Workers (DMW) has barred the deployment of Filipino seafarers on passenger and cruise ships to the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden amid recent attacks by Houthi rebels.

Department Order No. 2 issued on Wednesday requires manning agencies to sign an affirmation letter guaranteeing vessels do not pass through the Red Sea or the Gulf of Aden.

Under the order, Filipino seafarers listed as crew members on board the vessels must also sign the letters acknowledging that their ships will not enter these areas.

The letters would then be uploaded to the DMW’s online processing system to ensure transparency, the agency said.

The department earlier required commercial vessels to register a “significant event” when they sail through the areas after two Filipino seafarers died aboard an Israel-linked bulk carrier after a Houthi missile attack last month.

In November, Houthi rebels seized an Israel-linked cargo ship in the Red Sea and took 17 Filipino seamen hostage.

The order comes after the DMW consulted with the Philippine Maritime Industry Tripartite Council to come up with ways to ensure the safety of Filipinos amid the recent attacks.

“The DMW remains steadfast in its commitment to safeguarding the well-being of Filipino seafarers,” it said. “These measures reflect the DMW’s dedication to ensuring safe working conditions and protecting our seafaring workforce.”