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Legarda: Thousands of Filipino Seafarers to Benefit from Maritime Labour Convention, 2006

September 25, 2012

IN LIGHT OF THE CELEBRATION OF MARITIME WEEK, SENATOR LOREN LEGARDA, CHAIR OF THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS, TODAY STRESSED ON THE IMPORTANCE OF THE MARITIME LABOUR CONVENTION, 2006 TO THE THOUSANDS OF FILIPINOS SEAFARERS WHO ALL SEEK FOR BETTER PROTECTION AND IMPROVED WORKING CONDITIONS.
“As we celebrate Maritime Week, we must all work to ensure that the rights of all seafarers are upheld, and that they are respected and recognized as vital components of the world economy. We must begin working towards full implementation of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006,” Legarda said.
“Thirty percent (30%) of all the personnel manning ships worldwide are Filipino seafarers. In 2011 alone, the Philippines deployed 343,587 seafarers, making 1 out of every 5 seafarers in the world a Filipino. There is an urgent need for governments to effectively enforce its regulatory role in ensuring safer and secure shipping, in preventing marine pollution, and in ensuring decent work for seafarers,” she explained.
The Philippine Senate concurred in the ratification of MLC, 2006 on August 12, 2012. The Philippines became the pivotal 30th member state to do so, as MLC, 2006 will enter into force one year after it has been ratified by 30 countries with a minimum of 33% of world tonnage.
“The unfair conditions of seafarers including exploitation, excessive working hours, ill-treatment, contract substitution and underpayment of wages and other benefits will be abolished through this Convention. We must give them the just treatment that they deserve, underscoring their sacrifices and contributions to the global economy,” Legarda remarked.
MLC, 2006, dubbed as the seafarer’s Bill of Rights, establishes the right to a safe and secure workplace that complies with safety standards; right to fair terms of employment; right to decent working and living conditions on board ship; and right to health protection, medical care, welfare measures and other forms of social protection.
It also covers more basic rights such as freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining; the elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labor; the effective abolition of child labor; and the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.