Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday said the Department of Labor and Employment, being the competent authority with regards the implementation of the Maritime Labor Convention, 2006, has already issued Maritime Labour Certificates to 85 of the 124 Philippine-registered vessels engaged in international voyage that have been issued with the Declaration of Maritime Labour Compliance, or DMLC.
The 85 were inspected and certified by the nine (9) recognized organizations (ROs) authorized by the DOLE to conduct inspection and issue the said certificates.
“The issuance of the MLC and the DMLC is consistent with our efforts towards full compliance with the MLC, 2006, and in accordance with DOLE policy issuances on the Convention,” said Baldoz.
In order for a vessel to have a Maritime Labour Certificate, the shipowner should secure a DMLC, which consists of two parts. The first part is the DMLC Part I, which contains the national requirements implementing the MLC, 2006, and which shall be issued by the Secretary of Labor and Employment upon application by the shipowner.
The second part is the DMLC Part II, which shall be prepared by the shipowner and shall contain measures to ensure continuing compliance with the national requirements detailed in the DMLC Part I.
Thereafter, the DOLE’s Recognized Organizations shall inspect the vessel and certify the DMLC Part II as compliant with the provisions of the Convention and the national requirements before issuing the Maritime Labour Certificate. The Certificate shall be valid for not more than five years, subject to intermediate inspection.
Covered by the DMLC are shipowners and seafarers onboard Philippine-registered ships engaged in international voyage where employer-employee relationship, or other forms of engagement, exists pursuant to D.O. No. 130 Series of 2013 issued pursuant to Article 128 of the Labor Code of the Philippines.
Baldoz further said that since the MLC, 2006’s entry into force, on 20 August 2013, the DOLE and its partners under the Maritime Industry Tripartite Council, including the Recognized Organizations, have been working together in implementing the following tripartite process issuances to ensure the country’s compliance with the MLC, 2006:
1. D.O. No. 129, the “Rules and Regulations Governing the Employment and Working Conditions of Seafarers Onboard Ships Engaged in Domestic Shipping”;
2. D.O. NO. 130, the “Rules and Regulations on the Employment of Filipino Seafarers Onboard Philippine-registered Ships Engaged in International Voyage”;
3. D.O. No. 130-A, or “Guidelines on the Authorization of Recognized Organizations to Conduct Inspection and Certification of Philippine-Registered Ships Engaged in International Voyages”; and
4. Labor Advisory No. 02-2013, the “Requirements for Compliance with MLC, 2006”; and
5. D.O. No. 132, the “Guidelines on Maritime Occupational Safety and Health”.
6. Labor Advisory No. 4-2013, “Requirements on Medical Certificates on Catering Services, and Certificate of Inspection of Crew Accommodation”.
She said that the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has issued to about 350 manning agencies licenses that guarantee compliance, recruitment, and placement standards under the MLC, 2006.
“The POEA is committed to subject the 350 to monitoring and inspection for continued compliance with the MLC, 2006,” Baldoz explained.
She further said that for domestic ships, the Philippines’s main enforcement framework for compliance with the MLC, 2006 will be the DOLE’s new Labor Laws Compliance System-Management Information System, an on-line, web-based application system.
“Through this system, the DOLE’s corps of Labor Law Compliance Officers, whose number has been increased by 372 by President Benigno S. Aquino III, will utilize electronic gadgets to transmit and process real-time data from the field using an electronic checklist. The system will incorporate the POEA checklist for manning agencies’ compliance with Philippine labor laws and POEA rules and regulations,” said Baldoz.
“This is the first inspection system in the world that combines both developmental and regulatory approaches in ensuring compliance with labor laws and occupational health and safety standards, as well as ILO decent work indicators,” she added.
Baldoz reiterated the need for the Philippines to secure and protect the welfare and well-being of Filipino seafarers through strict implementation of the MLC, 2006.
“We need to move together to ensure decent work for seafarers and securing fair competition and a level playing field for quality shipowners. We need to protect compliant shipowners and manning agencies from undercutting by shipowners with substandard ships or who offer substandard benefits and horrible working conditions to Filipino seafarers,” said Baldoz finally.