Originally published in abs-cbnnews.com, 2010/10/07
BANGKOK, Thailand – The Philippines is likely to ratify an International Labor Organization Maritime Labor Convention, also known as the Bill of Rights for Seafarers that provides comprehensive rights and protection at work for the world’s more than 1.2 million seafarers.
Nicon Fameronag, spokesman of the Department of Labor and Employment, said ratifying the ILO Maritime Labor Convention 2006 is a commitment of the Philippine government.
The Philippines is one of the largest suppliers of seafarers in the global labor industry, making up about a quarter of the world’s maritime population.
A total of 330,424 seafarers were deployed last year, up from the 261,614 deployed the previous year, statistics from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration showed.
Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said the country’s 300,000-plus seafarers serving on foreign vessels accounted for around $7 billion out of the $16 billion sent back home by Filipinos overseas workers in 2009.
The new ILO labor standard promotes decent work for all seafarers and addresses almost all aspects of a seafarer’s working life such as minimum standards regarding work on board ship, conditions of employment, hours of work and rest, repatriation, accommodation, recreational facilities, food and catering, health protection, medical care, welfare and social security protection.
It consolidates and updates more than 65 international labor standards related to seafarers adopted over the last 80 years.
Only 10 member states have ratified the ILO convention as of June 2010: Canada, Norway, Spain, Panama, Marshall Islands, Liberia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Bahamas and Bosnia and Herzegovina.