Philippine Ambassador to Australia Belen F. Anota echoed the praise of Malacanang Palace and the Department of Foreign Affairs for the “bayanihan” or community spirit displayed by the Filipino crew members of the ill-fated luxury liner “Costa Concordia.”
"It is but apt that President Benigno S. Aquino has dubbed the Filipino crew members of the Costa Concordia as our ‘sailing ambassadors’ because of the professionalism, courage, heroism and selflessness that they have demonstrated. They have brought out the best traits of the Filipino,” Ambassador Anota said.
When the ship began to list after running aground, Filipino crew members continued to help others even at the risk of their own safety.
There were a total of 296 Filipino crew members on the Costa Concordia.
On Thursday, a first batch of 100 crew members from the ill-fated luxury liner returned to Philippines. Another batch of 21 arrived in Manila before noon Friday. The bulk of the seafarers returned to the country on Saturday.
The Department of Labor and Employment assured returning crew members that assistance packages are available for them, especially those involved in extraordinary circumstances.