Repatriation for the stranded Filipino crew members of MV Angelic Power in China may soon be processed as court proceedings and crew changes are now moving forward.

According to reports from China received by Magsaysay Maritime Corporation (MMC), a custodian appointed by the Guangzhou Maritime Court to manage the MV Angelic Power has arranged for a Chinese crew to board the vessel and familiarize themselves with its operation.

“It is our understanding that, once the Chinese crew can safely operate the vessel, the court-appointed custodian will arrange for the repatriation of the MV Angelic Power’s Filipino and Greek crew members,” MMC said in a statement.

This development came after concerns about participating in court proceedings arise for the crew.

“The need to comply with minimum safe manning requirements on the ship must be accounted for, as leaving the ship without sufficient crew could have disastrous consequences to those on and around it,” MMC said in an earlier statement.

The crew was stranded onboard MV Angelic Power for the past 17 months in China when the Guangzhou Maritime Court detained the vessel due to a financial dispute between the cargo receiver, Guangzhou South China Coal Trade Center Co, and the ship’s owners Angeliki Dynamic Investment Corp.

MMC also reported that the court proceedings are moving forward, with a video conference between the Guangzhou Maritime Court and the Filipino crew members on June 18.

“The court will take a few days to issue the necessary orders and notices for finalizing the case registration, after which the crew can be repatriated,” MMC furthered.

The crew composed of 13 Filipinos and two Greeks complained of dwindling food supplies and medicines, expired insurances, and unpaid wages since January 2021.

Last week, the President of MMC had a dialogue with the crew, and their home allotments were advanced by the principal.

“Everyone is doing their very best and will continue doing everything they can to reunite our Filipino crew members with their families and loved ones at the soonest possible time,” MMC said.