On 1st year anniversary of MLC, 2006’s entry into force, Baldoz thanks convergence partners, supporters

As the Philippines’s ratification to the International Labor Organization’s Maritime Labor Convention (ILO-MLC), 2006 turns one-year on Wednesday, 20 August 2014, Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz expressed thanks and gratitude to all DOLE-partners for all their hard toil in ensuring the country is on track in keeping up with the highest international standards of welfare and protection for overseas and domestic Filipino seafarers.

“President Benigno S. Aquino III ratified the ILO’s Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 on 20 August 2012, making the Philippines the 30th and final ILO member-state to ratify the global treaty required for it to come into force, which happened on 20 August 2013,” said Baldoz.

“Our convergence in setting in place policies and mechanisms for compliance with the Convention made sure that over 300,000 overseas Filipino seafarers and 60,000 domestic seafarers are at best protected,” she added, even as she enjoins the Filipino nation to share in the celebration on the occasion of the 1st Year Anniversary of MLC, 2006 coming into force.

The DOLE-led celebration will be held tomorrow, 20 August, at the AMOSUP Convention Hall, Intramuros, Manila.

The whole-day affair will highlight the country’s observance and accomplishments of the ILO’s Decent Work Agenda pillars on (1) creating jobs; (2) guaranteeing rights at work; (3) extending social protection; and (4) promoting social dialogue.

Considered as a milestone in the country’s maritime history, the event aims to increase awareness among the general public about the indispensable services that seafarers contribute to domestic and international seaborne trade, the world economy, and society at large.

It shall also an occasion for the DOLE to recognize the efforts of domestic shipping companies in complying with labor standards, to be highlighted by the awarding Certificates of Compliance (COCs) to 13 domestic shipping companies.

Another highlight of the celebration is the launching of the Labor Education Programs and Services in the Maritime Industry. POEA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac will conduct an orientation and present an update on the MLC Amendments. Booths and help desks which will feature Information and Education (IEC) materials on DOLE’s programs and services for seafarers will also be set-up for event attendees.

“Dubbed as the “seafarers’ international bill of rights”, the MLC, 2006 is a single, coherent international instrument that consolidates and updates fundamental principles and labor standards for seafarers,” Baldoz said.

“For both seafarers and ship owners, the MLC provides the necessary balance between labor standards and regulation on the one hand, and the promotion of productivity and competitiveness on the other hand,” she added.

Baldoz explained that when the MLC entered into force 12 months after it was ratified, it became the “fourth pillar” of the international regulatory regime for quality shipping, complementing the key Conventions of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), such as the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974, as amended (SOLAS), International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping, 1978, as amended (STCW), and International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 73/78 (MARPOL).

“A major contribution to global economic growth, the convention helped us achieve decent work for seafarers and secure the economic interest in fair competition of quality ship owners. The first year anniversary of the MLC, 2006’s coming into force celebrates over a decade of involvement of the government, through the DOLE, in global maritime affairs,” Baldoz said.

“With the Philippines, being the world’s premier and preferred source of quality seafarers, we are more than committed to exhaust best efforts to protect them and promote their welfare and interest,” she finally said.

Representatives from the DOLE and other government agencies, such as the  Department of Foreign Affairs; Department of Health; Department of Transportation and Communication; Social Security System; Commission on Higher Education; and National Telecommunications Commission, are expected to grace the occasion. The labor and management sectors are also expected to send representatives.

END/hjtg

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