Weekend processing, enough papers

As manning groups welcome President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s promise to streamline processing of migrant workers’ employment during his first state of the nation address last week, suggestions to realize it were shared during the “Usapang OFW: The Maritime Corner,” (UOTMC) a digital show of the Daily Tribune.

“The marching order of the President is very comprehensive, especially his orders for the Department of Migrant Workers to streamline the processes for our modern-day heroes. The three to four weeks (processing) can be attainable for land-based, especially all agencies involved will work together with the agencies. But we hope it is possible for the seafarers. There is no problem since the processing is online in the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration,” Capt. Gaudencio Morales, an official of Abosta Shipping, the Joint Manning Group (JMG) and the Filipino Association for Mariners’ Employment Inc. (FAME), told UOTMC.

For his part, Capt. Edgardo Flores, the owner’s representative of Eastern Mediterranean Manning Agency-Greece, hinted of another faster method.

“Our agency and employees can process it even during weekends,” Flores said.

“I hope the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) can make sure that they have enough papers so there’s no delay in the processing of Seaman’s Book,” Arianne Ramirez, national secretary of the seamen’s union United Filipino Seafarers said.

Flores and Ramirez believe there is a shortage of Seaman’s Book, which Marina had denied.

On the position of Marina to prioritized issuing Seaman’s Book to those who are scheduled for deployment, Flores argued that it’s a right for every seafarer to get it and Marina should not deprive them if they want to secure the Seaman’s Book in advance.

“It should be always available for them because every seafarer is entitled to have it anytime. It is not acceptable that those who are only ready for deployment will be the ones to get a Seaman’s Book,”
Flores said.

Meanwhile, Morales said the JMG, FAME and other stakeholders are hoping that new Marina dministrator Atty. Hernani Fabia can finally set the record straight on the Seafarer’s Identification and Record Book issue once they meet.

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