NOTE: THIS PRESS RELEASE WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN THE BOHOL CHRONICLE’S SUNDAY PRINT EDITION.
Gov. Erico Aristotle “Aris” Aumentado, flew to Manila, together with Bohol Employment and Placement Office-Public Employment Service Office (BEPO-PESO) Head Maria Vilma Yorong, to personally hand over documents to the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) about Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW), Mark Aljohn Dilag, who went missing aboard the international cargo vessel M/V Ace Azul Thursday last week.
Dilag, a 30-year-old OFW from Bakilid, Dimiao, and assigned as chef master, “mysteriously” disappeared from his cabin while the ship was heading towards Singapore and scheduled to dock at its port.
It was reported by Dilag’s brother, Michael Angelo, that their family received a call from Splash Philippines, Inc., the Manila-based manning agency that hired Dilag, informing them that the latter was no longer in his cabin Thursday morning. Because there was no breakfast prepared, the crew decided to check on him but found his cabin empty.
The agency informed them that after the crew could not find Dilag on board their ship, the cargo vessel traced back its route, but after six hours of search, their efforts came to naught. The vessel docked at the Singapore port and reported the incident to the Singapore Coast Guard, who in turn conducted their search and rescue operations.
However, Michael Angelo said that “we were not satisfied with how the agency is handling the incident” and decided to seek the assistance of the OWWA, whose field office in Bohol is located at the BEPO-PESO of the Capitol.
A day before the governor traveled to Manila, he instructed BEPO-PESO Head Yorong to draft a letter addressed to Sec. Maria Susana “Toots” V. Ople of the DMW, requesting the latter to extend maximum assistance to Dilag’s family, consistent with the programs for persons in crises, which he will hand carry and personally deliver to Sec. Ople’s office.
Meanwhile, Dilag’s live-in partner, Marife T. Gamutin, has already officially filed a report at the OWWA Regional Office regarding the incident. Consequently, Director Francisco “Jun” Aguilar of the DMW contacted Dilag’s local recruitment and manning agency, Splash Philippines, Inc., and is currently coordinating with them on the matter.
Dilag is a Hotel and Restaurant Management (HRM) graduate from a Tagbilaran-based university. (PiMO/BEPO-PESO/LMS)