With the Philippine Senate’s ratification of the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC), 2006 on August 13 the Philippines, together with 30 other nations paved the way for creation of what is said to be the bill of rights of 1.2 million seafarers worldwide.
“There is an urgent need for governments to effectively enforce its regulatory role in ensuring safer and secure shipping, in preventing marine pollution, and in ensuring decent work for seafarers,” Senator Loren Legarda, chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and sponsor of the Senate resolution concurring in the ratification pointed out.
Having in mind that 30% of all the personnel manning the ships worldwide are Filipino seafarers, this move embodies a major milestone in promoting seafarers’ rights thus curbing their exploitation, excessive working hours and inadequate payment.
“The importance of the Convention to the global maritime industry is obvious. Once enforced, the rights of seafarers and all parties concerned are guaranteed. The Convention aims to achieve both decent work for seafarers and secure the economic interest in fair competition of quality ship owners. That, in itself, is a major contribution to global economic growth,” the Gulf News site cited Labour Secretary Rosalinda Dimapiliz-Baldoz as saying.
MLC, 2006 sets comprehensive framework of provisions aimed at standardization of living and working conditions for seafarers onboard a ship as well as regulating the procedures and conditions of their hiring.
World Maritime News Staff, August 17, 2012