You are here

Seafarers’ ‘Right to Refuse Sailing’ must be strictly implemented: DMW

Seafarers’ ‘Right to Refuse Sailing’ must be strictly implemented: DMW
Gerard Naval - April 1, 2024

THE Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) yesterday strongly urged all licensed manning agencies (LMAs) and accredited principals/employers to strictly implement the implementing guidelines for Filipino seafarers who want to exercise their “Right to Refuse Sailing” in areas declared as High-Risk Areas and War-Like Zones.

Based on Department Order No. 1 – 2024, the DMW said LMAs and principals must follow the guidelines for Filipino seafarers, who refuse to join the voyage to areas such as the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, among others.

“LMAs and their accredited principals/employers shall ensure the proper implementation of the decision of seafarers to invoke their ‘Right to Refuse Sailing’ in the identified High-Risk Areas and War-Like Zones,” said the DMW.

The Department said they must ensure that matters relative to currently declared high-risk and war-like zones have been explained to the seafarers before their deployment, including the conduct of the mandatory Anti-Piracy Awareness Training for Seafarers in accordance with the existing policy of the Department.

LMAs and principals are also expected to provide Filipino seafarers on board with the means to make informed decisions by informing them of the scheduled passage of the ship to the identified areas/zones and their rights and entitlements should they consent to continue their voyage.

The Department also said that the immediate and safe repatriation of seafarers, who will invoke their right to refuse sailing in said areas/zones, should be ensured.

It said seafarers should also be allowed to freely decide to refuse sailing in the said areas/zones without discrimination and prejudice to their present and future employment.

The guidelines also provide that seafarers must be given the “Confirmation of Refusal to Traverse the Red Sea, or Gulf of Aden, and/or to Other War-Like and High-Risk Zone” to formalize their intent not to join the voyage in the said areas/zones.

The DMW said seafarers must be informed that they may access said Confirmation Form through the official website of the DMW ( along with additional information on their rights and entitlements.

LMAs and principals must also ensure that seafarers will be able to freely submit said Confirmation Form directly to the DMW through email [email protected].

Lastly, the DMW said LMAs and principals should also report within 24 hours to the DMW-Seabased Accreditation Bureau, through email: [email protected], the decision of the seafarer to not join the voyage in the said areas/zones, together with the accomplished Confirmation Form and updates relative to their repatriation.

Earlier, the International Bargaining Forum (IBF) designated the southern Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden as a “war-like zone” for seafarers.