Filipino seafarers stranded in China to be repatriated Thursday

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 21)— Thirteen Filipino seafarers who have been stranded in China for over a year are finally coming home on Thursday.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Magsaysay Maritime Corporation (MMC) announced that the Filipino crew of bulk carrier MV Angelic Power will be repatriated on July 22.

"Official disembarkation proceedings and health-screening protocols are underway," MMC said.

In June, the seafarers made a desperate cry for help after being stuck in South China for about 17 months already. Restrictions brought by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as legal issues hounding their company delayed their return home, a crew member told CNN Philippines at the time.

MMC meanwhile thanked government agencies — including the Foreign Affairs and Labor Departments — for ensuring the safe return of the seafarers.

It added that the crew, upon return to Manila, will undergo the necessary COVID-19 health protocols as mandated by the government.

CNN Philippines Correspondent Tristan Nodalo contributed to this report.