“As the 30th ILO member state to ratify the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC), 2006, today is nothing less than a global milestone,” Senator Loren Legarda said after the Philippine Senate approved on third reading Senate Resolution 829.
Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and sponsor of Senate Resolution 829 or the Resolution Concurring in the Ratification of Maritime Labour Convention, 2006, hailed the Senate’s decision.
“The MLC, 2006, envisioned to spur the modernization of shipping fleets to comply with international standards, will enter into force one year after it has been ratified by 30 countries with a minimum of 33% of world tonnage. Before the Philippines ratified MLC, 2006, it was ratified by 29 countries with 58.5% of the world tonnage,” she explained.
“Our ratification finally and justly establishes the bill of rights of 1.2 million seafarers worldwide, 400,000 of whom are our very own. We should take great pride in this achievement,” she added.
Legarda noted that 30% of all the personnel manning the ships are Filipino seafarers. In 2011 alone, the Philippines deployed 343,587 seafarers, making 1 out of every 5 seafarers in the world a Filipino.
The Senator said she is hopeful that the unfair conditions of seafarers including exploitation, excessive working hours, ill-treatment, contract substitution and underpayment of wages and other benefits will be abolished through this Convention.
“There is an urgent need for governments to effectively enforce its regulatory role in ensuring safer and secure shipping, in preventing marine pollution, and in ensuring decent work for seafarers. We must give them the just treatment that they deserve, underscoring their sacrifices and contributions to the global economy. I believe that the MLC, 2006 will make a significant difference in the lives of all seafarers around the world,” Legarda concluded.