Baldoz issues guidelines implementing various provisions of MLC, 2006
"All set and ready."
Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz said this yesterday after she issued Labor Advisory No. 4, Series of 2013, setting the pertinent guidelines to be implemented in accordance with the groundwork of the Maritime Labor Convention, 2006, or MLC, 2006.
Labor Advisory No. 4, or the "Requirements on Medical Certificates, Certificates on Catering Services, and Certificate of Inspection of Crew Accommodation Pursuant to the Maritime Labor Convention, 2006 and the Philippine Maritime Occupational Safety and Health Guidelines" takes effect immediately.
Also known as the Seafarers’ Bill of Rights, MLC, 2006 will take force and effect on Tuesday, 20 August 2013.
"This latest issuance by the DOLE on the MLC, 2006 will serve the primary goal of protecting Filipino seafarers’ welfare and interest and our way of complying with the provisions of the Convention," said Baldoz.
“We are pleased to report to our people that there are now concrete procedures enforcing the various provisions of the MLC, 2006. Ship owners, seafarers, and law enforcers alike will now have a standard way of conforming to what the Convention requires. This will ensure smooth implementation of the MLC, 2006,” she added.
The issuances listed in the labor advisory are the Department of Health (DOH) Circular No. 2013-0276, or the “Reiteration on the Use of the New Pre-Employment Medical Examination (PEME) Certificate for Service at Sea" which the DOH issued in compliance with the MLC, 2006”;
Technical Education and Skills Development Administration (TESDA) Circular No. 09, Series of 2013, or the “Implementing Guidelines for the Newly-Promulgated Training Regulations in Compliance with the MLC, 2006 Requirements”; List of Recognized Organizations Authorized to Issue Certificate of Inspection of Crew Accommodation for Ships Engages in International Voyages”; and the DOLE’s Department Order No. 132, Series of 2013, or the "Guidelines on Maritime Occupational Safety and Health."
Under the DOH circular, seafarers currently on board vessels and are in possession of the old DOH Medical Examination Report format may be re-issued a Medical Certificate in the new DOH MLC, 2006-compliant medical certificate provided that the seafarer was issued a "Fit for Duty Medical Certificate.
The date of its validity should start on 01 April 2013 and up to the termination of employment of the seafarer. Any medical certificate utilizing the new form issued before 01 April 2013 is not valid anymore.
Accordingly, ship owners and/or manning agencies are advised to facilitate the re-issuance of medical certificate compliant with the requirements of the MLC, 2006 on behalf of their seafarers currently onboard ships
On the other hand, TESDA’s circular aims to ensure that personnel employed to provide catering services to ships are equipped with the competencies and skills aligned with the national standards by providing training regulations for messman, ships’ cooks, and chief stewards.
Effective 20 August 2013, all seafarers to be engaged and employed, and those work onboard ships as catering staff, are required to be trained and/or certified pursuant to the TESDA Training Regulations contained in TESDA Resolution No. 2013-03 issued on 17 May 2013.
Those who intend to work as a messman should obtain Ship Catering Services NC I; Ship Catering Services NC II for Ships’ Cook, and Ship Catering Services NC III for Chief Steward.
However, the DOLE, as competent authority, can grant exemption to seafarers currently onboard ships and are employed as catering staff prior to the effectivity of the MLC, 2006, as long as they possess Certificates of Competency as Messman, Cook, or Steward subject to its validity date; Certificate of Training issued by a technical-vocational institutions (TVI) with TESDA-registered program on Messman, Cook, or Steward; or a documented attestation from the ship owner or representative of the ship owner that the seafarer engaged, or employed, has seagoing experience as ship’s messman, cook, or steward of at least two years and was trained onboard, qualified, and found competent for the position.
Guaranteeing that the MLC, 2006 provisions on crew accommodation, recreational facilities, and food and catering are properly complied with, the DOLE has authorized nine Recognized Organizations (ROs) to conduct inspection of Philippine-registered ships engaged in international voyages.
These nine authorized ROs are Bureau Veritas, Det Norske Veritas, Germanischer Lloyd, Korean Register of Shipping, Lloyd’s Register Group Limited, Registro Italiano Navale Services S.p.A., American Bureau of Shipping, and Hellenic Register of Shipping.
Lastly, the Philippine Maritime Occupational Safety and Health (MOSH) Guidelines issued by the DOLE on 8 August 2013, provides for the implementation of the occupational safety and health (OSH) policies and programs on ships; establishment of Safety and Health Committee; and the designation of a Safety and Health Officer trained in first aid and medical care and possesses a Basic Occupational Safety and Health (BOSH) Certificate.
The department order also requires all seafarers onboard ships and those who are designated as Safety and Health Officers who does not have a BOSH Certificate and training on first aid and medical care to secure the necessary training and certification within one year after the effectivity of the said guidelines.
Baldoz said the DOLE, through its various agencies, will continually monitor compliance with these rules and regulations to ensure compliance by ship owners, ship manning agencies, and seafarers with the various provisions of the MLC, 2006.