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‘May himala’: Risa lauds PBBM’s move to save jobs of 50,000 Pinoy seamen

‘May himala’: Risa lauds PBBM’s move to save jobs of 50,000 Pinoy seamen
November 4, 2022

One of President Marcos’ ardent critics has finally found a common ground with him.

Opposition Sen. Risa Hontiveros on Friday welcomed the Chief Executive’s directive for several state agencies to come up with an immediate plan to help some 50,000 Filipino seamen who were in danger of losing their jobs in shipping companies from the European Union (EU).

“I applaud the initial action of the President and we expect immediate solutions from the newly formed tasked force,” Hontiveros said.

“The move is long overdue,” she said. “Matagal nang issue ang reformation sa training and development ng ating mga marino, and yet no action has been taken so far. This is a recurring problem that needs our urgent response.”

She blamed the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) for its failure to improve the country’s maritime education and pass the evaluation of the European Maritime Safety Agency (Emsa).

The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) had earlier revealed that about 50,000 Filipino seafarers may be barred from being deployed on EU-flagged vessels as the country had consistently failed to pass the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers since 2006.

Emsa is again set to conduct an audit on the Philippines’ compliance this month.

Hontiveros also urged the government to consult Filipino seafarers before coming up with new policies regarding their training.

“Hindi dapat nagsasakripisyo ang mga kababayan nating manggagawa dahil sa kapabayaan ng Marina,” Hontiveros said.

“I will also be filing a resolution for a Senate inquiry towards the better protection of our seafarers, and to avoid such unnecessary consequences in the future,” she said.