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DMW assures seafarers’ right to refuse deployment to high-risk areas

DMW assures seafarers’ right to refuse deployment to high-risk areas
Jean Mangaluz - March 14, 2024

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) assured that it will uphold the Filipino seafarers’ right to refuse to venture into high-risk or war-like areas, reminding crewmen that they can be repatriated upon request.

Following the devastating attack on the MV True Confidence, which left two Filipino servicemen dead and three others injured, DMW Usec. Bernard Olalia said that the agency has ongoing policies that regulate deployment for dangerous areas.

“Kapag ang isang barko ay dumadaan sa tinatawag na war-like areas or high-risk areas – nandodoon po iyong right to refuse to sail onboard ng isang seafarer at siya po ay puwedeng ma-repatriate kapag in-invoke iyon at any time na bago makarating doon sa tinatawag na high-risk or war-like areas – iyon po ang ating sinusubaybayan at ini-implement,” Olalia said at the Bagong Pilipinas Ngayon public briefing.

(If a boat passes by a war-like or high-risk area, a seafarer has a right to refuse to sail onboard, and they can be repatriated if they invoke that right at any time before they reach the high-risk or war-like areas—that is what we are monitoring and implementing.)

“Iyong karapatan na iyon ay ibibigay natin sa seafarer at sisiguraduhin natin na kapag in-exercise iyon ay ipapatupad,” he said. (That is a right given to seafarers and we will ensure that it is enforced.)

Olalia said that ideally, the right to refusal should be implemented at any time and without conditions.