The Apostleship of the Sea (AOS)has organized Seafarer’s Sunday on September 25 to mark the start of National Maritime Week which honors Filipino overseas workers (OFWs) facing life-threatening situations while helping the national economy stay afloat. Some 2,500 people, including sea-based workers and their families, are expected to attend an ecumenical memorial at sea at coastguard headquarters in Manila beginning 7a.m. in honor of seafarers who had died. Scalabrini Father Paulo Prigol, Apostleship of the Sea director, said a grand parade planned at 9am from Luneta Seafarers’ Welfare Center ends at Manila Cathedral, where Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales of Manila is to say Mass. Father Prigol said vice president Jejomar Binay has been invited to the event that highlights contributions of seafarers and the crisis of sea piracy they face. The International Maritime Bureau's piracy reporting centre says that there were 266 pirate attacks worldwide in the first half of 2011, a 36 percent increase from last year, Father Prigol noted. He pointed out Philippines has been the top supplier of seafarers in the world since 1975. They comprise one third of some 1.2 million seafarers today. Seafarers' remittances to the country in 2009 reached US$3.4 billion, AOS data show.
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