Bong Go pushes for Magna Carta of Filipino seafarers

Sen. Bong Go has filed Senate Bill 1191 which aims to provide for a Magna Carta of Filipino Seafarers to secure the right of the country’s seafarers to decent and humane employment, and set a guide for seafarers on training, overseas employment, and retirement.

Overall, the proposed measure seeks to institute mechanisms for the enforcement and protection of Filipino seafarers and provide compulsory benefits they deserve.

Go noted: “The Philippines has been the primary supplier of maritime labor and considered the manning capital of seafarers globally since 1987. Of the 1.5 million mariners worldwide, 25 percent are Filipino sea-based workers, making them the single biggest nationality bloc in the maritime industry.

“Despite the risks associated with a seafaring job, many Filipinos still choose the profession to provide a better life for their families. Filipino seafarers’ remittances have been genuinely beneficial to the Philippine economy. In fact, they contributed $6.54 billion or around 21 percent of the total OFW remittances in 2021.”

The senator underscored the need for the country to enhance and strengthen its measures in fulfilling its duties and obligations as the 30th Member State to ratify the International Maritime Labor Convention of 2006.

“It is high time for the government to pass an additional piece of legislation that would benefit Filipino seafarers and give them rights corresponding to the MLC standards,” Go said.

The Magna Carta codifies the rights of the seafarers into a single reference law, including their right to just terms and conditions of work, self-organization, educational advancement and training, information and consultation, fair treatment in the event of an accident, and against discrimination.

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