More than ten million Filipinos live and work overseas. They work in the world’s high-paying cities, particularly in the Persian Gulf, Hong Kong, Canada, and Europe. The Covid-19 pandemic has made their lives miserable. A relatively overlooked group of Filipino overseas workers are thousands toiling onboard international crew ships. Most such ships were anchored abruptly in unfamiliar waters because of the pandemic, throwing their lives out of gear. The trauma, caused by the uncertainty of life, hits them as much as it hits their families back home.
Joseph Peter Calleja, Manila Correspondent of UCA News spoke to Christopher Lao, a lawyer who specializes in immigration law, and a teacher at the University of the Philippines College of Law.