Senate OKs Magna Carta of Filipino seafarers


September 28, 2023 | 9:26am

MANILA, Philippines — The Senate has approved on final reading the Magna Carta of seafarers, which seeks to outline the rights of Filipino mariners and sets guidelines for their training and overseas employment.

With 14 affirmative votes, the upper chamber passed Senate Bill 2221 Wednesday evening.

The proposed Magna Carta of seafarers aims to secure their rights to decent, just and humane conditions aboard sea-going vessels, and sets guidelines for their training and education, overseas employment, and retirement.

The bill was approved two days after President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos certified it as urgent.

In March, migrant workers’ coalition Migrante International hit the “anti-seafarer” provisions in the Magna Carta of seafarers, including the “unconstitutional” insertion of the escrow provision, which mandates that money awards won by seafarers in the National Labor Relations Commission or the National Conciliation and Mediation Board will not be released to them in full.

Migrante also criticized the bill for excluding fisherfolk from the protections that apply to seafarers, arguing that fisherfolk are already entitled to the same rights as seafarers under the guidelines of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration. The group stressed that fisherfolk have faced significant exploitation and abuse. — Gaea Katreena Cabico with report from Cristina Chi


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