SUBIC BAY FREEPORT – Favor returned.
At least six Vietnamese fishing vessels boarded by some 100 Vietnamese fishers were given shelter for safety here Wednesday afternoon amid rough seas being generated by tropical depression Quiel.
It will be recalled that last June 18, Vietnamese fishers had rescued 22 Filipino fishermen whose boat was reportedly rammed by a Chinese vessel which then left them dangerously afloat in the waters of the West Philippine Sea.
In a report Thursday, the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Law Enforcement Department said its personnel and those from the Philippine Coast Guard guided the Vietnamese vessels to a designated sheltering anchorage at Subic Bay.
Early Wednesday, the Vietnamese Embassy in Manila messaged the Department of Foreign Affairs, Philippine Coast Guard, and Philippine Navy requesting assistance for Vietnamese fishermen who might seek refuge inside Philippine territory amid rough seas.
“The Embassy would like to ask the competent authorities to allow the Vietnamese fishing vessels and ships carrying Vietnam’s flag to be anchored in the Philippines safe ports and safe places,” the Vietnamese Embassy said.
SBMA chair and administrator Wilma Eisma said she then directed SBMA’s Seaport Department to ascertain and provide the necessary assistance needed by the Vietnamese fishermen while in Subic Bay.