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Concern for PH seamen

September 3, 2021 People's Tonight 470 views

THROUGH its highly-trained seafarers serving aboard ocean-going vessels of various registry, including cruise ships, the Philippines is acknowledged as a “maritime power.”

And with the return to their ships of COVID-19-displaced Pinoy sailors, there’s now a need to speed up the passage of the proposed “Magna Carta of Filipino Seafarers Act.”

Fortunately, the Upper Chamber of Congress has approved on third and final reading Senate Bill (SB) 2369 that seeks to protect the welfare of the country’s mariners.

Note that like the other overseas Filipino workers, the yearly dollar remittances of our half-a-million seafarers help prop up the country’s struggling economy.

In sponsoring SB 2369, co-authored by six other senators, Sen. Joel Villanueva said “it’s time to put aboard one vessel all the rules that will protect the sailors’ welfare.”

Senator Villanueva said codifying the rules that protect them is made more pressing by a pandemic, which has placed a heavy stress on the health and livelihood of our seafarers.

He said the proposed law “lives up to its name as a forward-looking measure that responds to rising trends in the maritime world, like the growing participation of women.”

That’s why “may section to protect women cadets. Kabilang na rin ang mga anti-harassment, anti-bullying and anti-discrimination policies onboard ships,” according to Villanueva.

Noting that seafarers, like the rest of our migrant workers, will spend the “sunset of their lives” on land, the proposed piece of legislation also spells out reintegration services.

Indeed, the measure is seen to help our mariners “pagdating ng panahong hindi na sila sasampa sa barko.”

Tama nga naman!