Philippine-based cruise ship M/V Forever Lucky, the cruise ship contracted by the government of Yap to provide more rooms and catering services for the delegates of the Micronesian games, had been intercepted by the Philippine authorities in Bataan, Philippines on July 3 for allegedly trying to bring in undocumented Filipino Workers to Yap. (Photo by the Philippine Coast Guard)
Team Palau’s accommodations at the Micronesian Games 2018 in Yap, Federated States of Micronesia were not affected by the recent interception of a Philippine-based cruise ship supposed to supplement accommodations and catering services for the delegates of the sports event.
Palau National Olympics Committee (PNOC) Information Technology, Communications and Media Officer Jayvan Emesiochel, who is in Yap for the Micro Games, told Island Times via e-mail that Team Palau is “doing fine with their accommodations.”
Emisiochel confirmed that Palau’s teams did not book any rooms with the cruise ship.
“They (Team Palau delegates) are staying at the games village along with other Micronesian countries,” Emesiochel said.
The government of Yap, the host of this year’s Micronesian Games, had previously contracted the Philippine-based cruise ship called M/V Forever Lucky, operated by Fahrenheit Co. Ltd, to provide more rooms and catering services to the delegates of the sports events as accommodations capacity on the island is limited.
The cruise ship in question has 146 cabins that include deluxe single, deluxe double and executive suites that is said to double room capacity in Yap. The event is eyed to bring in more than 2,000 athletes, coaches, officials, volunteers, and spectators.
However, the Philippine Coast Guard and Philippines’ National Bureau of Investigation had seized the ship, which was set to depart from Port Orion in Bataan, Philippines last July 3, for allegedly attempting to transport undocumented Filipino workers to Yap. The Philippine authorities also reported that the ship’s company allegedly produced falsified and fictitious Special Permit to Navigate and that it does not possess other pertinent papers to operate and carry the 139 passenger workers on board.
During the ship’s seizure, 41 crewmen were apprehended by the Philippine authorities after they allegedly presented fake documents.
The Guam Daily Post reported that the ship’s seizure left some members of Team Guam “scrambling to find housing.” But the Yap community had helped find two large houses on one property for those who were affected.
Island Times tried to contact the Micronesian Games Organizing Committee (MGOC) to confirm if the Forever Lucky Cruise Ship had made it to the games but there is no reply from them yet as of press time.
The MGOC issued a press statement on July 7 that the ship will still arrive despite the Philippine authorities questioning the vessel’s capacity to navigate.
“With the assistance of the FSM National Department of Justice, all necessary documentation for Forever Lucky was completed — thus resulting in the issuance of the ship’s entry permit so the ship can enter the FSM’s jurisdiction,” the committee stated. (Rhealyn C. Pojas))