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Seafarers’ financial security guidelines out

Seafarers’ financial security guidelines out

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has issued the procedural guidelines on providing financial security to seafarers in case of abandonment, sickness or death while onboard Philippine-registered ships sailing overseas.

In Department Order (DO) 181-B, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello 3rd said this financial security must take the form of insurance. An earlier order, DO 181-A, extended the granting of dispensation to ships that do provide this security.

“Philippine-registered ships in overseas trade are required to carry on board the valid financial security certificate(s) by a financial security provider recognized and accepted by the Flag State, as represented by DoLE that is compliant [with]the national laws and regulations of the Philippines,” Bello said in the order.

The guidelines were issued to comply with amended implementing regulations 2.5 and 4.2 of the financial-security provisions of the Maritime Labor Convention (MLC) of 2006.

The order also provides that the certificate covering agandonement and/or compensation for contractual claims, should be posted conspicuously onboard.

Also, that document must include the name of the ship and its shipowner, its International Maritime Organization (IMO) number, call sign, port of registry, and how long the security is valid.

Submitting a copy of the document is required of Philippine-registered ships enrolling with the Philippine Overseas Employment Association (POEA), Bello said.

The security shall not end before its validity expires unless its provider notifies the POEA, the Bureau of Working Conditions, and the DoLE regional office where the ship is registered 30 days before the expiration.

The security provider must grant any claim by the seafarer, or his or her representative, supported by the necessary justification of entitlement and the requirements of compensation for contractual claims.

For currently enrolled ships, a copy of the document should be submitted within 30 days of DO 181-B’s effectivity. Otherwise, the processing of documents for crewing of the ship will be suspended until all requirements are submitted.

The DO shall take effect 15 days after its publication in a newspaper of general circulation.