News Release
Department of Labor and Employment
September 19, 2021

Bello pushes more protection for seafarers

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III is pushing for the amendment to a 15-year-old maritime convention of the International Labour Organization (ILO) to give global seafarers greater protection while in the high seas.

In a virtual address before maritime and seafaring industry leaders and advocates gathered in London last week, Bello said the existing ILO statute is ambiguous in providing fair treatment and protection to seafarers.

“(The Convention) only encourages the member-states to cooperate to facilitate the investigation of serious marine casualties. We need to act to correct such ambiguities in the code,” Bello said.

“We strongly recommend the amendment of the Maritime Labour Convention to recognize seafarers as key workers,” he added.

Bello was keynote speaker at the International Meeting on Future-Proofing of the Maritime Labour Convention of 2006, also known as the seafarers’ bill of rights, organised by the International Maritime Organization based in the United Kingdom.

In his address, Bello said the pandemic has affected the global work landscape, including maritime labor. “Hence, we must chart strategic and appropriate measures to continuously protect our seafarers in dealing with fresh opportunities as the world faces a new normal.”

He said that as a country that deploys thousands of seafarers each year, the fair treatment of sea-based workers is among the strongest advocacies of the Philippines, adding much has been done by the country to secure Filipino seafarers before and during the pandemic.

To name a few, Bello said the government has partnered with the Seafarers’ Rights International in 2018 to conduct a regional conference that produced the Manila Statement on the Fair Treatment of Seafarers in the Event of a Maritime Accident.

“We also crafted and set into force the Guidelines for the Establishment of the Philippine Green Lane to Facilitate the Speedy and Safe Travel of Seafarers, including their Safe and Swift Disembarkation and Crew Change during the Covid-19 Pandemic,” he said.

An Interim Guidelines for the Facilitated Deployment and Repatriation of Filipino Seafarers during the National State of Emergency brought about by COVID-19 Pandemic was also instituted, Bello said

“We fully recognize our seafarers as essential workers who play a vital role in the economy which is why they are among the priority recipients in the government’s national Covid vaccination rollout,” he added.

Bello said a measure is also being pushed in Congress to exempt Filipino seafarers from movement or travel restrictions, particularly when securing important travel and work documents.

“To protect them from the perils of the seas, crews must change regularly. Seafarers in need of medical attention must also be allowed to disembark, for humanitarian consideration,” he told the assembly.

The loss of or damage to seafarers’ effects by marine peril has also been covered when the government developed the Philippine Standard Terms and Conditions Governing the Overseas Employment of Filipino Seafarers On-Board Ocean-Going Ships.

Meanwhile, Bello assured the convention of the Philippine’s unwavering commitment to supporting the international seafaring and shipping community through the supply of highly sought, globally-competitive, skilled and reliable seafarers.

“I am confident that, despite the challenges that we are facing, we can build strong partnerships and multi-stakeholder cooperation to bring about meaningful change in the life and career of our dear seafarers,” he said. ###

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Higit na proteksiyon para sa mga marino, itinutulak ni Bello 

Itinutulak ni Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III ang pag-amyenda sa 15-taong-gulang na maritime convention ng International Labour Organization (ILO) upang bigyan ang mga pandaigdigang marino ng higit na proteksyon habang sila ay naglalayag sa karagatan.

Sa isang virtual address sa harap ng mga lider at tagapagtaguyod ng maritime at seafaring industry na nagtipon sa London noong nakaraang Linggo, sinabi ni Bello na ang umiiral na batas ng ILO ay hindi tiyak na nakapagbibigay ng patas na pagtingin at proteksiyon sa mga marino.

“Hinihikayat lamang ng (Ang Convention) ang mga member-state na makipagtulungan upang mapabilis ang imbestigasyon sa mga malubhang sakuna sa dagat. Kailangan nating kumilos upang maitama ang hindi maliwanag sa code,” pahayag ni Bello.

“Aming irerekomenda na amyendahan ang Maritime Labour Convention upang kilalanin ang mga marino bilang pangunahing manggagawa,” dagdag niya.

Si Bello ay pangunahing tagapagsalita sa International Meeting on Future-Proofing of the Maritime Labour Convention of 2006, na kilala rin bilang bill of rights ng mga marino, na inorganisa ng International Maritime Organization na naka-base sa United Kingdom.

Sa kanyang pahayag, sinabi ni Bello na naapektuhan ng pandemya ang pandaigdigang tanawin ng paggawa, kasama na ang maritime labor. “Samakatuwid, dapat tayong magsagawa ng mga naaangkop na hakbangin upang patuloy nating maprotektahan ang ating mga marino sa pagharap sa mga bagong oportunidad habang ang mundo ay nahaharap sa bagong normal.”

Sinabi niya na bilang isang bansa na nagpapadala ng libong marino bawat taon, ang patas na pagtingin sa mga manggagawang nagtatrabaho sa dagat ay kabilang sa pinakalamakas na adbokasiya ng Pilipinas, at kanyang idinagdag na marami nang nagawa ang bansa upang tiyakin ang kaligtasan ng mga Pilipinong marino bago at sa panahon ng pandemya.

Sinabi ni Bello na ang ilan sa mga ito ay ang pakikipagtulungan ng pamahalaan sa Seafarers’ Rights International noong 2018 upang magsagawa ng regional conference para mabuo ang Manila Statement on the Fair Treatment of Seafarers in the Event of a Maritime Accident.

“Ginawa rin namin at ipinatupad ang Guidelines for the Establishment of the Philippine Green Lane to Facilitate the Speedy and Safe Travel of Seafarers, kasama na ang Safe and Swift Disembarkation and Crew Change sa panahon ng COVID-19 Pandemic,” wika niya.

Sinabi rin ni Bello na itinatag din ang Interim Guidelines for the Facilitated Deployment and Repatriation of Filipino Seafarers sa panahon ng National State of Emergency dala ng pandemyang COVID-19.

Kinikilala natin ang ating mga marino bilang mahalagang manggagawa na may importanteng papel sa ekonomiya kung kaya’t kabilang sila sa mga pangunahing tatanggap ng pambansang paglulunsad ng bakuna laban sa Covid ng pamahalaan,” dagdag niya.

Sinabi ni Bello na isang hakbang ang itinutulak sa Kongreso upang huwag ibilang ang mga marinong Filipino mula sa paghihigpit sa paggalaw at paglalakbay, partikular sa pagkuha ng mga importanteng dokumento sa pagtatrabaho at paglalakbay.

“Upang maprotektahan sila mula sa mga panganib ng dagat, ang crew ay dapat laging pinapalitan. Ang mga marino na nangangailangan ng atensyong medikal ay dapat payagang bumaba, para sa makataong dahilan,” kanyang pahayag sa ginanap na pagpupulong.

Sakop din sa binuo ng pamahalaan ang Philippine Standard Terms and Conditions Governing the Overseas Employment of Filipino Seafarers On-Board Ocean-Going Ships para sa mga marinong nawala o napinsala dulot ng sakuna sa dagat.

Samantala, tiniyak ni Bello sa pagpupulong ang matibay na suporta ng Pilipinas sa international seafaring and shipping community sa pamamagitan ng pagbibigay ng globally-competitive, may kakayahan at maasahang marino.

“Tiwala ako na sa kabila ng mga pagsubok na ating kinakaharap, makakabuo tayo ng matibay na pakikipag-ugnayan at kooperasyon ng iba’t ibang stakeholder upang makapag-bigay ng makabuluhang pagbabago sa buhay at propesyon ng ating mga mahal na marino,” wika niya. ###

 

 

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