Magna Carta of Filipino Seafarers

MAGNA CARTA OF FILIPINO SEAFARERS

DIWA Party-list has been an active advocate of the rights and welfare of the Filipino seafarers. Rep. Emmeline Aglipay-Villar has staunchly filed the same Bills on Magna Carta of Filipino Seafarers during the 15th, 16th and 17th Congresses.

Finally, during the 17th Congress, last July 26,2017 the House of Representatives unanimously approved on third reading the House Bill 5685 Magna Carta of Filipino Seafarers.

The Magna Carta of Filipino Seafarers seeks to recognize and uphold the rights and to promote the welfare of Filipino seafarers as well as institute mechanisms for the enforcement and protection of thereof.

It aims to upgrade our seafarers’ working and living conditions on board the ship and ensure a safe and secure workplace as well as provide access to healthy food provision. This bill also provides for a fair and just terms and conditions of employment in accordance with the applicable labor laws and policies of the Philippines.

This legislative measure, likewise, promotes the enhancement of the seafaring profession in the Philippines to be globally competitive. Included in this bill are protection for Filipino seafarers against discrimination based on race, sex, religion and political opinion including free legal representation for victims of such violations. It also considers the most prevalent challenges of Filipino seafarers, which include homesickness, fatigues and work safety issues.

Furthermore, the Magna Carta provides reintegration programs for returning seafarers to uplift the socio-economic well-being of our seafarers and their families.

We now come closer to enacting the Magna Carta of Filipino Seafarers into a law after its approval by the House of Representatives. The approved bill was already transmitted to the Senate and we now wait for their version of the measure.

More than 229,000 Filipino seafarers employed on shipping vessels around the world will be benefited if this Bill will finally be passed into law.