Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday congratulated the Associated Marine Officers’ and Seamen’s Union of the Philippines (AMOSUP), led by its Chairman, Dr. Conrado F. Oca, on the occasion of the 53rd year anniversary of the largest seafarers’ union in the Philippines and in the world.

“I sincerely congratulate the officials and members of the AMOSUP on this important milestone. That AMOSUP continues to exhibit strength and relevance is a testament to the union’s vision of an organization mindful of its important role in global maritime and to its conscientious duty and responsibility to provide for its members’ care and welfare,” said Baldoz.

Baldoz also expressed her thanks and gratitude, personally and on behalf of the DOLE, for AMOSUP’s P2 million donation to the DOLE for the victims of Typhoon Yolanda which had wrought havoc to many parts of the Visayas, especially Tacloban and other provinces in Region 8.

“Chairman Oca and Executive Vice President Eduardo Ma. R. Santos went to see me to hand-over the donation, for which I am very thankful for it will go a long way to alleviate the plight of the typhoon’s victims,” said Baldoz.

“I commend the AMOSUP for its generosity and compassionate spirit,” said Baldoz.

She recalled that in the aftermath of Typhoon Pablo in December 2012, the AMOSUP also donated P1,000,000 to the victims of the calamity in Davao, while its partner, the Japan Seamen’s Union, donated P5,000,000. The DOLE used the amount for emergency employment and to restore the livelihood of Typhoon Pablo’s victims in that part of Mindanao.

The AMOSUP was founded by Secretary Baldoz’s friend and visionary, the late Captain Gregorio S. Oca, on 11 November 1960 as an organization that aimed to work for Filipino seafarers’ welfare and protection, job security, and just and fair conditions of work.

Under Captain Oca’s leadership, the AMOSUP has grown to become the country’s premier union of seafarers which implements a number of programs in seafarer training, health, and welfare. AMOSUP has established hospitals, housing and billeting facilities, and training centers and schools. Captain Oca also founded the Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific, a world-class maritime training institution which guides, educates, and nurtures seafarers and maritime leaders.

In August, during the ceremony marking the entry into force of the Maritime Labor Convention, 2006, Baldoz paid tribute to the late AMOSUP founder for his eminent role in advancing seafarers’ rights and for being a key figure in the ratification of the MLC, 2006.

“He was one of the best people to represent our seafarers because he started as one of them before he became a recognized shipping and maritime trade union leader. Capt. Oca had become a byword in the seafarers’ world and AMOSUP has grown to become the world’s largest seafarers association with close 90,000 members now,” then said Baldoz.

END

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