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Philippines seeks to join ILO white list to help seafarers abroad

PHL seeks to join ILO white list to help seafarers abroad
Samuel P. Medenilla October 12, 2020

THE country is now seeking to be included in the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) “White List,” which will allow Filipino seafarers greater mobility abroad during the Covid-19 crisis.

Last month, the National Tripartite Industrial Peace Council (NTIPC) issued Resolution No. 3, series of 2020, which endorsed the Philippines’s application for inclusion in the list for complying with the requirements for the issuance of Seafarers’ Identity Documents (SID) under ILO Convention 185.

In the issuance, it noted that inclusion in the “white list” is timely because of lockdowns caused by the pandemic, which restricted the movement of Filipino seafarers, leaving them stranded in ports abroad.

“The inclusion of the Philippines in the ILO White List will accord Filipino seafarers with the privilege of facilitated shore leave, transit, transfer from their ships to ports of Member States that have ratified ILO C185,” the NTIPC said in its two-paged resolution.

Earlier this month, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) reported the number of deployed Filipino seafarers onboard sea vessel traveling on international waters has “normalized” after a significant decline due to Covid-19.

Led by the Department of Labor and Employment, the NTIPC has representatives from employers, labor groups, and government agencies and aims to come out with stakeholder-accepted government policies.

In an SMS, Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III told BusinessMirror the NTIPC Resolution No. 3 is currently with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

After being screened by DFA, the resolution will be forwarded to ILO’s main office in Geneva for consideration, POEA administrator Bernard Olalia said.

ILO C185 was ratified by the country in 2012, which updated the security features to Filipino sailors’ SID.

An ILO independent Audit Report found the country’s SID “fully compliant with the requirements of the ILO C185.”