SEN. Grace Poe vowed to continue pushing for policies and programs for the welfare of workers in the martime industry following the approval of the Magna Carta for Seafarers.
“It has been 10 years since we first filed the Pilipino Marino bill to protect the interests and welfare of Filipino seafarers. The long overdue Magna Carta is no longer a dream,” said Poe, chairperson of the Senate committee on public services.
“Our seafarers can now be assured of a safer and modern maritime industry where they are valued and protected and capacitated to perform their duties,” she added.
The Senate on late Wednesday approved on third and final reading the bill on Magna Carta for Seafarers, a measure earlier certified urgent by the President.
Poe said relevant government agencies should remain vigilant to ensure that the seafarers reap the benefits of the Magna Carta once signed into law.
“As legislators, we vow to continue pushing for a maritime related policies and support programs and projects that will further improve and promote the development of the maritime industry,” she said.
“Advancing the rights and welfare of our Filipino seafarers through this Magna Carta would not only improve their lives, but would also ensure the safety of travelers and secure the future of the Filipino seafarers families,” she added.
Now a step closer to becoming a law, Poe said the Magna Carta augurs well for the welfare of nearly half a million seafarers from the Philippines working in passenger and cargo ships around the world.
In 2022, their remittances accounted for $6.71 billion or 1.66% of the country’s gross domestic product.
“Hindi maitatanggi na malaki ang kontribusyon ng marinong Pilipino sa pagpapaunlad ng ekonomiya lalo na ng maritime industry hindi lamang dito sa ating bansa maging sa buong mundo. Kinikilala sila sa kanilang angking sipag, dedikasyon, professionalism,” Poe said.
“Our Pinoy seafarers can soon be assured of smooth sailing days as they sail in foreign waters for their families,” Poe added.