The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) on Thursday it is closely monitoring the crafting of the Magna Carta of Seafarers in Congress to ensure it will improve of the working conditions of Filipino sailors.
“We will continue working with our policy makers in crafting this key piece of legislation which sets a significant industry benchmark that promotes a safer, more equitable, and seafarer-centric maritime sector,” DMW Officer-in-Charge Hans Leo J. Cacdac said in statement last Thursday.
He made the pronouncement after the Senate announced last Thursday its version of the legislative proposal, Senate Bill No. 2221 already passed the third and final reading.
The House of Representative already passed its own version of the bill, House Bill No. 7325, last March.
The legislation for implementing the Magna Carta of Seafarers has been certified as urgent by President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.
Cacdac welcomed the new legislation since it will “greatly benefit the country’s thousands of seafarers.”
Among the highlights of the new legislation is Seafarer-Centric Approach for policy-making, providing enhanced working conditions for sailors, which includes giving them access to mental health services.
The DMW also noted the passage of the new law “sends a strong signal to the international maritime and shipping industry that the Philippines is bent on complying with its obligations to the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) for seafarers.”
Based on its data, DMW said the country deployed an average of 400,000 Filipino seafarers yearly from 2016 to 2021, which made it one of the top provider of crew for global maritime vessels.