More than 50 Filipino fishermen brought to Papua New Guinea's northern Manus province to fish the Manus waters have not had any work since arriving 17 months ago.
The fishermen were brought into the country by provincial government business arm Mafisco but the local government project never got off the ground due to delayed issuing of licenses and lack of money.
Mafisco managing director Molean Chapau says they ran out of money to pay the men their allowances last November.
But he says the company and government are working urgently on returning them home.
"As soon as we get the fund we will transport all of them back to General Santos by boat back to Philippines with their full five months allowance paid. So the government is doing everything it can to take them back to Philippines."
Molean Chapau says the provincial government still supports the fishing project and they will recruit in the Philippines again when they are better prepared.