Enacting laws for seafarers a priority

March 29, 2011 4:53 am 

MANILA, March 28,– In recognition of the seafarers’ valuable role in reinforcing the Philippines’ economy, Sen. Edgardo J. Angara stressed that enacting laws protecting Filipino sailors is one of his priorities.

Angara raised this point after noting that international conflicts and maritime issues over the recent years have made the seafarers’ profession more dangerous.

“We must ensure that the welfare of our seafarers remains our top priority as a stronger policy will provide adequate protection to Pinoy seamen and their families,” the senator emphasized.

And to prove his point, the lawmaker announced that he has recently filed Senate Bill No. 2062 or “An Act Instituting The Magna Carta For The Filipino Seafarers” which aims to protect the welfare of Filipino sailors and their families, improve their working conditions and terms of employment, and provide a better system of training and accreditation for the latter.

He also said that this proposed law is consistent with goals and priorities of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) which hammered out last year the so-called Manila Amendments to the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping.

“It will require more training and certification requirement for seafarers, not to mention enforcement of better working and living conditions at work within a global profit-oriented and market-driven business (but) I am positive that these provisions will usher in new developments in the maritime industry,” Angara emphasized.

“I believe that the advancement of the welfare of the Filipino seafarer is among the top priority of this administration. Therefore, I am hoping that important maritime measures will be passed out immediately because I fear that the country’s maritime industry will be seriously undetermined if the government does not take decisive steps to set in place more comprehensive and definitive policies,” the senator said. (PNA) DCT/LOR/PFN

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