A party-list group advocating the rights of seamen on Tuesday called on the government to provide emergency employment and financial assistance to seafarers and port workers who lost their jobs due to the devastation of the local shipping industry caused by typhoon “Odette.”
Rep. Sandro Gonzalez of Marino party-list group made the call in the wake of news reports that at least 1,000 maritime industry workers, including seafarers and port workers, became jobless after “Odette” sank or ran aground 120 vessels owned by members of the Philippine Coastwise Shipping Association.
“We should take the necessary steps in this direction. I know that providing emergency employment and financial assistance is a regular program of the administration. That is why I believe that our call to immediately give emergency, albeit temporary, jobs to seafarers and port workers displaced by ‘Odette’ is in order,” Gonzalez said in a statement.
The Marino party-list, currently represented by two congressmen in the 18th Congress, champions the rights and welfare of seafarers, sea-based Overseas Filipino Workers, and fisherfolk.
It is seeking reelection in the May 2022 national elections, with Gonzalez as the first nominee, Karl Castelo as the second nominee, and Atty. Collin N. Rosell as the third nominee.
Rosell, a Cebuano, suggested that the affected shipping industry workers could be given temporary jobs in ongoing government infrastructure projects.
“President Duterte has many ongoing infrastructure projects nationwide. The government can hire the displaced seafarers and port workers to work in these projects,” Rosell said.