MANILA, Philippines — Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz announced the ratification by President Benigno S. Aquino III of the International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention 185 or the Seafarers’ Identity Convention (Revised) 2003 which provides a uniform Seafarers’ Identity Document (SID) that ILO member-countries are required to issue to their seafarers.
“With the ratification of ILO Convention 185, the security of our seafarers and their continued employment is assured,” Baldoz said.
Baldoz said ILO C185 also spells out the requirements for ILO member-countries on how to establish processes and procedures for the issuance of SIDs.
All countries ratifying ILO Convention No. 185 will be required to issue new SIDs that conform to the requirements specified in ILO SID-0002, the standard which puts in place a comprehensive security system that enables the first global implementation of biometric identification technology on a mandatory basis, thus enabling positive identification of the seafarer that holds the document.
“The Philippines has done extensive work for the implementation of the ILO Convention 185 as preparation for its ratification. Because of this, Filipino seafarers will be able to move more easily around the world with this international document,” said Baldoz.
ILO Convention 185 revised the earlier Seafarers’ Identity Documents Convention, 1958 (No. 108). The much needed changes in the new Convention relates to the identification of seafarers.
Under ILO C185, the new SID carries a fingerprint-based biometric template, aside from the normal physical features for a modern machine-readable identity document, which was adopted with the agreement of the world’s ship owners and seafarer organizations. This new SID must conform to an international standard enabling the biometric templates on a SID issued by one country to be correctly read by devices used in other countries.
In addition, border authorities around the world will be able to check the authenticity of a SID produced by a seafarer, as the new Convention enables them to verify information in the SID either by reference to the national electronic database in which each issued SID must be stored, or through the national focal point of the country of issuance, which must be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
In addition, the SID country-issuing must arrange for an independent evaluation of the administration of its issuance system to be carried out at least once every five years. The evaluation report is reviewed within the framework of the ILO with a view to the maintenance of a list of the countries that fully meet the minimum requirements laid down by the Convention.