SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
29 October 2020 07:27:05 PM
The House Committee on Overseas Workers Affairs, chaired by Rep. Raymond Democrito Mendoza (Party-list, TUCP), on Thursday approved the Committee Report on the Substitute Bill to House Bills 272, 328, 1568, 2318, 3282, 3990, 4685, 4749, 5142, and 5430, instituting the Magna Carta of Filipino Seafarers. The measure would help ensure that the rights and welfare of Filipino seafarers, who have been gravely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, are protected through proper work conditions, just terms of employment, and sufficient career opportunities, among others. During the hearing, the panel also tackled updates from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on the incident involving Gulf Livestock 1, a cargo vessel that capsized off the waters of Japan with 39 Filipino seafarers onboard. DFA Undersecretary Sarah Arriola said there are two survivors and one fatality as reported to the agency. She then assured that the DFA continues to closely coordinate with its counterparts in Japan, China, and South Korea, as well as in the United Arab Emirates, country of the shipowner, for the search and rescue operations of the remaining 36 missing seafarers. Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) said the OWWA Board of Trustees has agreed to provide packages to support the affected families. These should include death and burial benefits, livelihood benefits, financial assistance, and scholarship for one dependent until he or she graduates. Meanwhile, the panel approved the motion of Rep. Macnell Lusotan (Party-list, MARINO) for the filing of a resolution creating a task force to initiate and monitor the search and rescue operations of the missing seafarers.