Balanga Bishop and Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines Bishop Promoter of Stella Maris-Philippines Ruperto C. Santos, on behalf of the organization that looks after the spiritual welfare of seafarers, expressed sadness on the passing of former President Fidel V. Ramos.
“On behalf of the seafarers and their respective families, we, Stella Maris-Philippines, offer our prayers for his soul and condolences to his family. All Stella Maris-Philippines’ chaplains shall offer prayer masses for his eternal rest and strength for his bereaved family,” Bishop Santos said in a statement.
The Church leader said, President Fidel V. Ramos, through P.D. 1094, dated September 3, 1997, declared the last Sunday of September as National Seafarers’ Day (NSD). The declaration states: “The purpose of this occasion is to give due recognition to the vital role played by our Filipino seafarers towards the development of the Philippines as a maritime country.”
“P.D. 1094 is also in-line with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) World Maritime Day which is celebrated on the last Thursday of September,” he added.
“This piece of legislation, crafted during the administration of former President Fidel V. Ramos is indeed a historical legacy to all seafarers, their families and to the maritime world. On September 25 this year, we will celebrate the 27th NSD (thanks to FVR). We shall honor the former president with a minute of silence nationwide,” said Bishop Santos.
“The seafarers and their families, the welfare service providers, the maritime world and stakeholders acknowledge that P.D. 1094 not only helped to raise awareness of the ‘blue economy,’ but above all, to make everyone more aware of the sacrifices that seafarers go through to move around 90 percent of the goods in the world,” he said.
The Stella Maris-Philippines chaplains and directors who will offer their masses and prayers for the eternal repose of the soul of FVR include Fr. Alan Pulgo – Stella Maris CDO, Fr. Edwin Ferrer – Stella Maris Alaminos, Pangasinan, Fr. Victor Bompat – Stella Maris Bohol, Fr. John Mision – Stella Maris Cebu, Mr. Orly Badilla – Stella Maris General Santos, Fr. Rodolfo Encabo – Stella Maris Iligan, Fr. Arvin Largado – Stella Maris Iloilo, Fr. Lloyd Edgardo Manzano – Stella Maris La Union, Fr. Mark Diola – Stella Maris Maasin, Fr. Paulo Prigol, CS – Stella Maris Manila, and Mrs. Lucila Quindoy – Stella Maris Davao representative.