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  • Writer's pictureMelo Acuna

Seafarers, port workers are economic front liners, says Bishop Ruperto C. Santos

Stella Maris – Philippines commends seafarers

MANILA – A Church-based group led by the Scalabrinian missionaries commends the vital role played by seafarers for the uninterrupted maritime transport of goods amidst the continuous lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement released today, Stella Maris – Philippines said ships ferrying medicines, most especially vaccines, have docked at different ports worldwide. They said the basic necessities, food and clothing, reached and delivered from harbors to homes worldwide as 80% of traded goods pass through ships.

“Our seafarers and port operators continue to serve us and make sacrifices to keep the supply chains flowing and running. They put their own lives on the line with ‘all hands-on deck,’ to make the sea trade and industr5y moving and ports operational,” the statement said.

The group added during these trying times, “the seafarers and port personnel have exemplified resiliency, courage, and strength of body and spirit.” They went on to describe the seafarers and port personnel as “economic front liners, reliable essential providers, and modern-day heroes.”

Balanga Bishop Ruperto Cruz Santos, chair of the Episcopal Commission on Migrants and itinerant Peoples said they at the Stella Maris-Philippines gratefully acknowledge the dedication and determination of the seafarers and port operators.

“Let us then appreciate with joyful hearts, their unparalleled commitment and selfless services, and pray always for their safety. Likewise, let us work together for their protection and for the promotion of their well-being. Our dear seafarers, please be assured that we, your chaplains, are your family, and the Stella Maris is your welcoming home away from home,” Bishop Santos further said.

At the Port of Batangas, Fr. Jessie A. Pentinio is chaplain based at Most Holy Trinity Parish at Pallocan West, Batangas City, with Fr. Liberato A. Apusen at the Port of La Union. Fr. Apusen holds office at the 2nd Floor, Diocesan Center, No. 7 P. Gomez St., San Fernando City, La Union.

At the Port of Cebu, Fr. John Mission holds office at the Stella Maris Seafarers’ Center at Arellano Blvd., Pier 4, Gate 5, North Reclamation Area, Barangay Careta, Cebu.

Over at the Port of Iloilo, Fr. Arvin Largado can be accessed to at the St. William Parish, Passi City. At the Port of Maasin in Southern Leyte, Fr. Niccolo Martin C. Florencio may be reached at the Assumption in the Hills Parish, at Asuncion, Maasin City.

Meanwhile, Tagbilaran Port Chaplain. Fr. Victor Bompat is accessible at Schola Cocietas, Dagohoy St., Tiptip District in Tagbilaran City. At the Port of Cagayan de Oro, Fr. Eutiquiano M. Legitimas is accessible at the San Isidro Labrador Parish in Gusa, Cagayan de Oro City.

Over in General Santos City, Program Coordinator, Fr. Orley R. Badilla, holds office at the Apostleship of the Sea/Stella Maris Seafarers’ drop-in Center in Makar Wharf, General Santos City.

Incidentally, at the Port of Iligan, Fr. Dwight Calaor holds office at the San Lorenzo Parish at Hinaplanon, Iligan City. At the Port of Manila, Fr. Paolo Prigol holds office at the Pope Pius XII Catholic Center at 1175 United Nations Avenue, Paco, Manila. (Melo M. Acuña)

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