Legarda: Better Protection, Improved Benefits Await Seafarers

June 25, 2013

In celebration of the 2013 International Seafarers’ Day, Senator Loren Legarda today highlighted the improved benefits and protection that the approximately 400,000 Filipino seafarers are expected to receive when the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC, 2006) takes effect.

“Thousands of Filipino seafarers will feel the effect of the MLC, 2006 in the coming months as the treaty comes into force in August, a year after the Philippines became the 30th ILO member state to ratify the treaty. Our seafarers will be provided with a safe and secure workplace that complies with safety standards, fair terms of employment, decent working and living conditions, health protection, medical care, welfare measures and other forms of social protection, as stated in the MLC, 2006,” said Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.

The 2013 International Seafarers’ Day is focused on acknowledging the services and sacrifices of seafarers.

Legarda cited statistics from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), which showed that more than 300,000 Filipinos work as seafarers overseas, bringing in US$4.3 billion in remittances in 2011, and 40,000 more work as seamen in local fleets.

“The sea could be one of the most dangerous and harshest environments for workers. While Filipino seafarers work hard to provide better life for their families and, at the same time, contribute to the nation’s economic growth, the government has to safeguard their well-being and ensure better working conditions for them,” the Senator said.