The House Committee on Overseas Workers Affairs, chaired by KABAYAN Party-list Representative Ron Salo, approved a substitute bill to 12 House Bills (HBs) instituting a Magna Carta for Filipino Seafarers to protect the rights and promote the welfare of seafarers, as well as revitalize the industry.
These were HBs 368, 379, 736, 1515, 1647, 1758, 2269, 2287, 3953, 4438, 4563, and 5795.
Salo assured stakeholders that the panel considered their concerns in drafting the consolidated bill.
“Among its key provisions is the right of seafarers to educational advancement and training at reasonable and affordable cost.”
The veteran legislator said that lawmakers ensured the measure is “holistic, effective, and most responsive to the needs of Filipino seafarers. Among its key provisions is the right of seafarers to educational advancement and training at reasonable and affordable cost”.
The proposed Magna Carta also stipulates the duties and responsibilities of seafarers, as well as their other rights and privileges.
Several government agencies expressed their support for the bill’s passage, including the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) led by Administrator Arnel Ignacio.
Meanwhile, committee members approved a motion to include the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in the crafting of the implementing rules and regulations.
Salo is hopeful that the bill would be up for plenary deliberations soon.