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Friday, May 24, 2024

Solon welcomes bicam okay of seafarers’ bill

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A party-list lawmaker on Thursday hailed the ratification of the bicameral conference committee report of House Bill 7325 or the Magna Carta of Seafarers.

OFW Rep. Marissa Magsino, one of the principal authors of measure, expressed confidence that the President will soon enact the measure into law.

“My driving force in pushing for its approval has always been the desire to promote the welfare of Filipino seafarers through a legislation embodying their rights, duties, conditions of employment, and entitlements, including the duties and responsibilities of shipowners and manning agencies, and concerned government agencies,” Magsino said.

“This measure has been discussed then put off, brought back to life then shelved again for the past decades. But finally, Congress has passed the Magna Carta of Filipino seafarers, giving them the recognition and protection they rightly deserve,” she added.

The Magna Carta of Filipino Seafarers is the country’s response to its country’s commitment as a signatory to the Maritime Labor Convention and the Convention on the Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping (STCW) for Seafarers.

The measure will be transmitted to Malacanang for the Chief Executive’s approval and signature.

Magsino also expressed gratitude to the members of the bicameral conference committee from the House, namely Reps. Marlyn Primicias-Agabas, Khymer Olaso, Sandro Gonzalez, and Committee on Overseas Workers Affairs chairman Ron Salo “for their diligence and decisiveness in fine-tuning the bill.”

She also thanked the senators who likewise championed the Magna Carta of Seafarers led by Senator Raffy Tulfo.

Magsino also emphasized the substantial inputs provided by Filipino seafarers and maritime industry stakeholders. Their invaluable contributions have shaped a comprehensive and inclusive policy.

“The OFW Party-list strongly believes that our seafarers are integral to the OFW sector, thus it fought to include provisions in the measure that would give the best terms of employment and highest protection of the seafarers’ rights.  And this would not have been possible without the substantial inputs of the stakeholders, thus the passage of the Magna Carta of Seafarers is a shared achievement with our seafarers and the maritime industry stakeholders,” Magsino stressed.

The Magna Carta of Seafarers is the first landmark legislation of Magsino being a neophyte lawmaker. 

The bill’s eventual enactment “is a testament of her sincerity and earnestness in advocating for the rights of our migrant workers, including our Filipino seafarers,” she said.

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