Delivered by GWP Rep. Emmi De Jesus, 30 May 2017
Mr. Speaker, the present House Bill No. 5685 was a refiled House Bill from the previous 16th Congress. It was previously filed as House Bill No. 6425 and was approved by the House of Representatives on Third Reading on May 23, 2016 and was transmitted to the Senate on May 25, 2016.
However, due to lack of material time, the Senate failed to act the measure.
In the present 17th Congress, six (6) House Bills on the same subject matter were filed. These are the following:
1. HB No. 78 - AN ACT INSTITUTING THE MAGNA CARTA OF FILIPINO SEAFARERS, BY REP. EMMELINE Y. AGLIPAY-VILLAR;
2. HB No. 457 - AN ACT INSTITUTING THE MAGNA CARTA OF FILIPINO SEAFARERS, BY REP. JESULITO A. MANALO;
3. HB No. 574 - AN ACT INSTITUTING THE MAGNA CARTA OF FILIPINO SEAFARERS, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES, BY REP. BELLAFLOR J. ANGARA-CASTILLO;
4. HB No. 1356 - AN ACT INSTITUTING POLICIES FOR THE PROTECTION OF WELFARE OF FILIPINO SEAFARERS, BY REPS. KARLO ALEXEI B. NOGRALES AND JERICHO JONAS B. NOGRALES.
5. HB No. 4360 – AN ACT INSTITUTING THE MAGNA CARTA OF FILIPINO SEAFARERS, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES, BY REP. TOMASITO S. VILLARIN;
6. HB No. 4525 – AN ACT INSTITUTING THE MAGNA CARTA OF FILIPINO SEAFARERS, BY REP. DEMOCRITO C. MENDOZA;
A technical working group (TWG) was then formed to study and consolidate the aforementioned House Bills held two (2) meetings on December 7, 2016 and January 24, 2017.
In the Committee meeting of February 28, 2017, the substitute bill AN ACT INSTITUTING THE MAGNA CARTA OF FILIPINO SEAFARERS was approved and filed as House Bill
Mr. Speaker, this bill is a commitment of the Philippine government to comply with the Maritime Labor Convention of 2006, which was ratified on August 20, 2012 by the Philippines. In fact, the Philippines is the 30th Member to have its ratification registered and join the group of the “first 30” ILO countries to demonstrate their commitment to ensuring decent work for seafarers and a level playing field for shipowners all over the world.
Mr. Speaker, this bill is for the benefit and welfare of our seafarers, both domestic and those working overseas.
Among the salient features of the bill are the following:
The Act covers Filipino seafarers engaged, employed, or working in any capacity on board Philippine registered ships operating domestically or internationally, as well as those on board foreign registered ships.
• It provides for the following basic rights of seafarers:
• Right to Just Terms and Conditions of Work, such as:
(a) Safe and secure workplace that complies with safety standards;
(b) Decent working and living conditions on board a ship;
(c) Medical care, welfare measures and other forms of health and social protection; and
(d) Fair terms and conditions of employment including salary commensurate to their rank, hours of work, and other relevant basis for wage computation, minimum number of working hours, rest period consistent with Philippine laws or international maritime conventions, when applicable.
• Right to Self-organization, to Engage in Collective Bargaining and to Participate in Democratic Exercises
• Right to Educational Advancement and Training at Reasonable and Affordable Costs. No fee or charges shall be imposed on cadets, interns, apprentices, on-the-job-trainees or other persons similarly situated.
• Right to Relevant Information.
• Right to Consultation.
• Right Against Discrimination.
• Right to Free Legal Representation.
• Right to Access to Communication.
As the Acting Chair of the Committee on Overseas Workers Affairs, which deliberated and acted on this significant measure, I now urge you, my colleagues, to approve this bill on Second Reading.
Thank you Mr. Speaker.