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Dr. Virgel C. Binghay
School of Labor & Industrial Relations University of the Philippines E-mail: email@example.com
Virgel C. Binghay,Ph.D. 1
The ship is one of the most dangerous workplaces with high mortality rate.
Philippines dominates seafaring occupation. Filipino seafarers account for around 20 percent of the world‟s total supply of seafarers onboard.
Virgel C. Binghay,Ph.D.
The world‟s maritime industry continues to rely on Filipino seafarers to handle 3D (dirty, dangerous, demeaning) jobs onboard foreign vessels.
Virgel C. Binghay,Ph.D.
Filipino seamen also make a substantial contribution to the Philippine economy. This scenario provides the basis for this presentation to reiterate the need for sincere enforcement of occupational health and safety measures and guidelines by employers and governments to ensure better working conditions for all seafarers in the world.
Virgel C. Binghay,Ph.D. 4
Binghay.THE PHILIPPINE LABOR MARKET CONTEXT The Philippines‟ labor surplus economy is one key „push‟ factor behind the growth of the number of seafarers. Virgel C.D. 5 . and OFWs as well.Ph.
Ph.D. A huge population and high annual population growth rate added sizeable increase in job seekers yearly. Binghay. Virgel C. while job creation has not kept pace. 6 .
Virgel C. The growth of seafaring labor force is triggered mainly by global demand. but the recruitment of seafarers in the global market progressed rapidly in the past three decades. Domestic shipping may have contributed to its development. Binghay.D.Ph. 7 .
Ph. 8 . the requirements of the competitive global shipping industry principally shaped policy for the crewing industry.D. Virgel C. Binghay. maritime schools and government agencies. In this light.
PROTECTION OF SEAFARERS The legal rights of Filipino seafarers come from two primary sources: The law The employment contract Virgel C.D.Ph. Binghay. 9 .
Philippine Constitution of 1987 mandates the State to “afford protection to labor. local and overseas. Binghay. and promote full employment opportunities for all.Ph.D.” Virgel C. organized and unorganized.THE LAW 1. 10 .
Ph.2. local and overseas. Philippine Labor Code of 1974 mandates the State to “afford protection to labor. Binghay. 11 .” Virgel C. organized and unorganized.D. and promote full employment opportunities for all.
Philippine Republic Act 8042 (Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipino Act of 1995) provides policy thrusts such as the guarantee of migrant workers rights Virgel C.D.Ph. Binghay.3. 12 .
Ph.Standard Terms and Conditions Governing the Employment of Filipino Seafarers OnBoard Ocean-Going Vessels (POEA): 1. 13 . 4. 3. 2. To provide a seaworthy vessel for the seafarer and take all reasonable precautions to prevent accident and injury to the crew. To observe the Code of Ethics for Seafarers and conduct himself in the traditional decorum of a master. Binghay. To faithfully comply with the stipulated terms and conditions of this contract. To make operational on board the vessel the grievance machinery provided in this contract. Virgel C.D.
there is also a widespread recognition of the need to build capacity and sincerity to implement. it can be discerned that a safer and healthier work environment has long been recognized as a major factor for the protection of maritime workers‟ rights. 14 .D. Virgel C. in as much as the State has indeed come up with commendable policies. Binghay.With these policy statements. However. and to fund programs envisioned by all these policies.Ph.
D. the foreign ship owner. 15 . Virgel C.Ph. crewing or manning agency).SITUATION OF FILIPINO SEAFARERS Seafarers are fixed term contractual employees – 12 months Trilateral employment relationship – local recruiting agency (i.e.. Binghay. and the crew.
Ph.D.Long & Tedious Job Search The ordeal of a Filipino seaman starts even while he is still looking for job on the high seas – during the “job search” period. Virgel C. Binghay. 16 .
Ph.D.2 months Average length of seafarers‟ employment contract – 9. Binghay.9 moths This means that seafarers spent about the same time looking for a job as they spent working on board Virgel C. Average job search period – 7. 17 .
Unscrupulous Recruitment Agencies Asking applicants huge amount of money in order to get a break in seafaring occupation Manning agencies using the new graduates to work without pay for as long as one year in exchange of the chance to get their first work experience on board ship.Ph.D. Binghay. Virgel C. 18 .
Ph. Binghay.D. Trainees made to pay “training fees” though they are not assured of job after “training” Manning agency asking seaman to sign a document stating that he owe the agency a certain amount of money and this is done when he is already at the airport so as not to give the seaman option but to sign on the document. Virgel C. 19 .
20 . Virgel C. overlapping procedures. timeconsuming.Ph. Binghay. as well as red tape in the processing of papers Employment aboard ocean-going ship inevitably subjects the worker to rigorous isolation and confinement.D. Seafarers complain about expensive.
21 .Isolation & Negative Work Situation Rigorous isolation & confinement Ship not only of work for him/her but also a home Regimented life throughout employment period Subject to the command & whims of the master of the ship At the mercy of the perils & danger of the high seas Virgel C. Binghay.D.Ph.
Abuse.D. Binghay.Ph. 22 . Maltreatment & Unfair Labor Practices Blacklisting Lowering of Benefits Longer Working Hours Health & Safety Risks Virgel C.Discrimination.
D.Causes of Death Maritime disasters (such as capsizings & sinkings) Pirates War areas Drowning & hypothermia Violence Suffocation Contusion Disappearance from ship voyage Back strains Virgel C.Ph. Binghay. 23 .
Binghay. 24 .Ph.D. Risk of cancer Cardiovascular diseases Malaria infections Sexually transmitted diseases Acute diseases & serious injuries Virgel C.
or death have been thoroughly proven to be work-related.Controversial Provisions of the “New Standard Employment Contract” An injured or sick seafarer. Virgel C. or his/her heirs (if the seafarer dies). illness. Binghay. 25 . can claim only if his injury.D.Ph.
Ph. Seafarers‟ quit claims and full disclosure of a seaman‟s medical history Once seafarers or their families claim death and disability. they can no longer file damages for negligence or torts cases against a foreign ship Virgel C. 26 . Binghay.D.
27 . but are willing to accept lower wages.Competition & Lowering of Benefits International ships have begun recruiting more seafarers from other countries --mariners who are at par with Filipinos in terms of skills.Ph.D. Binghay. Virgel C.
D. 28 . Binghay. Filipino seamen are being asked to trade off some of some of their benefits to remain in demand in the industry Virgel C.Ph.
particularly our overseas Filipino seafarers. Binghay.D.CONCLUSIONS: Enforcement of legislations aiming to protect the rights of our migrant workers. 29 . is in no way at par with their economic contribution to the Philippines Virgel C.Ph.
D. Binghay.the lack of interest on the part of the employers/ ship owners to fully enforce occupational health and safety measures for seafarers especially that an effective health and safety management entails a considerable economic costs to ship owners. Virgel C. . Two main factors why the assurance of occupational health and safety remains elusive Filipino seafarers.Ph. 30 .
Virgel C.Ph.lack of political will both from receiving and sending countries to adopt concerted and more assertive actions to address the problems related to ensuring a safer and healthier work environment for sea-based workers.. Binghay.D. 31 .
primarily the Migrant Workers Act.D.Ph. Virgel C. 32 .RECOMMENDATIONS: There is a need to revise existing laws greatly affecting sea-based workers. since that said Act mainly addresses land-based jobs and any support for the overseas seafarers is stipulated only in the affirmation of very general principles as Filipinos deserving protection from the State. Binghay.
D. 33 .Ph. Binghay. There is a need to streamline operations and services for seafarers and consequently. certification. protection and welfare. labor market regulation. Virgel C. a need to rationalize government agencies involved with seafarers‟ education and training. employment processing.
34 .Ph. There is a need to evaluate how the seafaring educational system of the country may be improved to adequately prepare Filipino seamen for the future jobs at sea. Binghay. Virgel C.D.
35 .Ph. effective communication. Virgel C. Maritime schools and shipping firms/ employers are encouraged to look at the possibility of investing on the preparation of seafarers for life and work with multinational crews to develop teamwork. Binghay. good rapport.D. and good decision-making in critical situations to prevent maritime disasters and work-related accidents.
shipping firms. maritime schools. Strengthen social dialogues among major stakeholders such as the seafarers group. promoting seafarers‟ welfare. 36 . and decent work on board ships. and international labor and multilateral organizations. Binghay. Virgel C. seafarer unions.Ph. and other stakeholders such as crewing agencies. with regards to upgrading the industry.D. and governments of receiving and sending countries.
The incoming President of the Philippines must seriously look into plights of the overseas Filipino seafarers.D. Binghay.Ph. Virgel C. 37 .
38 .Cox & Cox Virgel C.D.“No society can ever claim to be civilized if it does not show honest concern for the health & safety of its workforce.Ph.” . Binghay.
References Amante. MINDA Vol.V. 2. 39 . Mragtas S.php/MINDA/article/vie w/1276/1161 date accessed: January 25. Binghay. 2010] Virgel C.D. 2 No.philjol. (2005). [htt://www.Ph. Philippine Global Seafarers: Ethnicity & Identity in Ships with Multinational Crews.info/index.
Virgel C. Virgel C. VCB Research & Publications. 40 .D. Talent Management.Ph.Binghay. Migration & Globalization. (2009). Binghay.
Ph. Binghay.THANK YOU! Virgel C. 41 .D.