Press Release
October 29, 2010

Legarda Welcomes House's Move to Push Magna Carta for Seafarers

Senator Loren Legarda today welcomed the move in the House of Representatives to push for the institution of the Magna Carta of Filipino Seafarers.

Legarda, who filed the same bill in the Senate said, "Seafarers make up a significant 25.83 percent of the country's migrant work force yet most of the policies and programs catering to the needs of migrant workers are designed for the conditions and situation of land-based workers."

"We need to establish the Magna Carta of Filipino Seafarers, which would address the specific needs of our seafarers. We welcome any move that would support such efforts, and I encourage my fellow legislators in the two Houses of Congress to push for the immediate passage of the measures filed for the benefit of our sea-based workers," she added.

Legarda noted that Filipino sea-based workers greatly contribute to the country's economic development. According to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Filipino seafarers remitted a total of US$ 4,339,407,000 for the first three months of 2010 alone.

The Senator said that their contribution to the country is worthy of recognition and it is a must that the State protect and uphold the rights of the Filipino seafarers and address their specific needs.

Under Legarda's Senate Bill 1351, seafarers are guaranteed their right to human working conditions and just compensation through ensuring that manning and crewing agencies provide adequate information about the on-board conditions as well as local and international laws that apply to the Filipino seafarer.

To ensure they comply with the international requirements and maintain their edge over their foreign counterparts, the Filipino seafarers will be given access to affordable and quality educational advancements and training courses.

Furthermore, the bill seeks to provide retraining or reintegration for the Filipino seafarer after his sea-service.

"The Filipino seafarers are one of our country's important human resources. They should be given equal attention and protection for their continued growth and development which will translate to the improvement of our country's socio economic conditions," Legarda said.

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