By Genalyn Kabiling
Malacañang has expressed sadness over the death of a Filipino cruise ship worker while waiting for repatriation and vowed to extend assistance to those dealing with stress, fear, and worry amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“The Palace is saddened by the unfortunate death of a seafarer on board the Harmony of the Seas for repatriation,” Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said.
“Initial reports indicate the cause of death is suicide. Concerned authorities are now investigating the matter,” he said.
Roque also said government agencies have been directed to look into “mental anguish” of those adversely impacted by the pandemic and immediately provide assistance.
“The worldwide pandemic is taking an emotional toll on everyone and we must help our countrymen how to cope with stress, fear and worry in this challenging time,” he said.
He also said the government is searching for ways to further expedite the return of overseas Filipino workers from all over the world.
The Department of Foreign Affairs had earlier announced that a Filipina crew member aboard a cruise ship died while waiting for a flight back to the Philippines. Reports said the cruise ship is currently docked at Bridgetown Port in Barbados.