Press Release
September 24, 2018

Villanueva's closing remarks on Magna Carta of Filipino Seafarers Bill hearing

Today, there was a lot of positive feedback and overwhelming support from both the government and seafarers' organization and its social partners to the proposed Magna Carta of Seafarers Bill.

So, let me assure you that we are committed to push for the passage of this measure and through your help we can fast track the legislative process.

We hope to retain that provision in the Magna Carta of Seafarers and include the recent amendments to the Maritime Labor Convention as outlined by Atty. Sale of the Associated Marine Officers and Seamen's Union of the Philippines.

We are now instructing the secretariat to convene the TWG for these bills, we'll of course look into the details of these measures and clarify sensitive matters like, for example, the inclusion of occupational diseasesin the bill or the inspection of foreign vessels by DOLE, etcetera.

Ako po, as I always say, workers' rights and the interests of business are not contradictory. So, I agree with Mr. Marquez that we should like for tenable solutions or balance the interests of the seafarers, the labor unions and ship owners.

Now, I agree with Senator Nancy that we cannot afford to lose more jobs for Filipino seafarers.

Kapag kumakapal daw po ang tao d'yan sa may Kalaw Avenue sa Maynila, dalawa lang ang ibig sabihin: maraming job order sa mga Pinoy seaman o kaya, kumakapal ang bilang ng mga aplikante kasi nahihirapang makahanap ng trabaho.

Ayaw po nating mawala ang oportunidad sa mga Pinoy seafarers at para ma-maintain din natin ang maritime industry sa bansa kaya ginagawa po natin ito, kaya itinutulak po natin ang mga panukalang ito.

On the other hand, we understand the NLRC for saying that there may be some duplication or redundancy if we create a new commission or seafarers' administration.

This October 31, ang alam ko po may audit po ulit ang EMSA at may pangamba nga po na baka malagay sa alanganin ang trabaho ng 80,000 seafarers kung adverse ang magiging resulta nitong audit but we're hoping for the best at kasama po itong mga panukalang ito para mapatatag natin ang trabaho ng mga Pinoy seaman.

We will continue to study these measures thoroughly, together with your positions papers and statements but it is our firm belief that these bills can help create a better and brighter future for our seafarers and their families.

Thank you very much for giving us your precious time today. Pagpalain po tayo ng Panginoong Diyos.

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