Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III yesterday announced that the Governing Board of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration has approved and issued GB Resolution No. 13, Series of 2016, which calls for the development of a universal identification system for Filipino seafarers.
“The Governing Board Resolution is aimed at developing a universal ID system for seafarers that is acceptable to all government agencies and port states in compliance with relevant conventions,” said Bello, who is also the chairperson of the POEA Board.
Under the resolution, the POEA will be coordinating with the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) to develop an online registration system for seafarers by 15 September 2016 and will conduct an information dissemination campaign to Filipino seafarers and licensed manning agencies to create awareness of the benefits of the online registration system.
Secretary Bello added that Filipino seafarers are given Seafarer’s Registration Certificate with ID numbers for easy access to their POEA records and for the efficient processing of their employment certificate.
“The POEA has established a Seafarer’s Registry to maintain a pool of qualified seafarers. This is essential for policy research and supply and demand analysis,” said Bello.
MARINA, on the other hand, issues Seafarer Identification and Record Book (SIRB) in compliance with the International Labor Organization Convention No. 108, 1958, which serves as the Filipino seafarers identification document while on board ships.
ILO has also adopted Convention 185, or the Seafarer’s Identity Document Convention, which introduced modern security features into the seafarer’s ID that shall be recognizable to all member states accessing the ID Cards through the implementation of International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Documents 9303.