DOLE eyes better working conditions for seafarers
MANILA, Philippines - The days of substandard ships and sea accidents may soon be over.
Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said the government is now working to ensure better working conditions for seafarers and reducing the number of substandard ships.
Baldoz said DOLE and the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) will soon come out with joint guidelines regulating the maritime industry.
The joint guidelines would enable the country to fully comply with the Maritime Labor Convention, which mandates protection and better working conditions for seafarers worldwide, Baldoz said.
Under the MLC, all shipping vessels will undergo inspection and certification of compliance.
Baldoz said the government could stop loss of lives at sea by ensuring decent working conditions, securing fair competition and level playing field for quality ship owners.
In line with the implementation of the MLC, DOLE has authorized nine organizations to inspect and certify Philippine-registered ships engaged in international voyages.
“As of this time, of the 125 listed Philippine registered vessels, 122 have already been issued maritime labor certificates,” Baldoz further noted.
Also in marking the MLC entry into force, Baldoz paid tribute to late Capt. Gregorio Oca, founder of the Associated Marine Officers and Seamen’s Union of the Philippines.
Baldoz said Oca was a key figure in the ratification of MLC and has initiated programs in seafarer training, health and welfare.