In speech at Maritime Industry Forum
Baldoz bares launch of world’s first online inspection system; thanks Norway for help to Yolanda survivors, including Filipino seafarers’ families

Urging the country’s maritime community to work as one in ensuring decent and productive employment for all Filipino seafarers, Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz took the occasion of the recent Philippines-Norway maritime industry forum to convey the Philippine government’s fullest appreciation and gratitude to King Harald V of Norway and the Norwegian government and its maritime sector for their “wholehearted gift of humanitarian aid” to alleviate the plight of the survivors of super Typhoon Yolanda.

Secretary Baldoz specifically thanked Norway for the “warm gestures of support by Prime Minister Erna Solberg and the Norwegian shipowners who have worked closely with the AMOSUP in transporting hardware and relief goods to the typhoon-devastated areas.”

The AMOSUP, or the Associated Marine Officers’ and Seamen’s Union of the Philippines, convened the maritime industry forum.

Baldoz noted that Norway had been among the first to respond after Typhoon Yolanda struck, with the AMOSUP’s training vessel, the Kapitan Felix Oca, transporting humanitarian supplies provided by Norwegian shipowners and other donors to affected areas.

She commended the AMOSUP, together with the Norwegian Maritime Officers Association (NMOA) and  the Norwegian Seafarers Union, for hosting the forum which run on the theme, “New Standards, New Challenges and Opportunities”.

In her speech, Baldoz encouraged the maritime community to take the lead in ensuring decent and productive work for all Filipino seafarers by means of compliance with the Maritime Labor Convention, 2006 (MLC, 2006) which had entered into force on 20 August this year.

“The MLC, 2006 highlights the need for all stakeholders to put into place the right balance between ensuring decent work for seafarers and securing fair competition and a level playing field for quality shipowners,” she emphasized, adding:

“We ought to move together as one with the tripartite partners, particularly the Maritime Industry Tripartite Council, to the effect that both ship owners, manning agencies, and seafarers are protected from the deleterious effects of undercutting, which result to substandard ships plying our seas, on one hand, and dangerous, substandard working conditions and benefits detrimental to seafarers, on the other hand.”

Baldoz bared that for the purpose, the DOLE has launched the new Labor Inspection System Application (LISA-PH) information management system, a web-based system, that the Department will use to implement its new labor law compliance program.

“Considered as a first in the world, LISA-PH is designed for an effective management information system to support the Philippines’s labor enforcement framework,” the labor and employment chief said.

She informed her audience that President Aquino III has given the DOLE 372 new plantilla positions for labor law compliance officers to augment and complement the existing number of DOLE inspectors in implementing the new LLCS.

“These labor law compliance officers, or LLCOs, will be using gadgets, such as notebooks and tablets, which allow for a thorough on-line inspection based on real time data collection, processing, and transmission based on an electronic checklist. For ships and shipping establishments, the checklist incorporates the POEA’s checklist for manning agencies, among others.
Baldoz said the LISA-PH is the first inspection system in the world that captures both the developmental and regulatory approaches in ensuring compliance with labor laws and occupational safety and health and safety standards, including ILO decent work indicators.

“It is also the main enforcement framework for D.O. 129 Series of 2013 which establishes a framework and the standards for ILO Maritime Labor Convention compliance for Philippine-registered ships,” she explained.

The labor and employment chief, once more reiterating the Philippines’s instrumental role in the adoption and entry into force of MLC, 2006, said the country is also working in earnest with all stakeholders to comply with the convention, saying she had already issued a series of preparatory measures forming the firm foundation for the maritime industry’s compliance with the same.

“As a seafaring nation, we ought to move alongside the tripartite partners in the Maritime Industry Tripartite Council, which proudly includes the AMOSUP, so that compliant shipowners and manning agencies are protected from undercutting by shipowners with substandard ships or who offer substandard benefits and working conditions to Filipino seafarers,” she said.

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