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MAGNA CARTA FOR FILIPINO SEAFARERS
One of the most expected outputs of the Filipino Seafarers National Convention (FSNC) is to draft a Magna Carta for Filipino Seafarers to consolidate the seemingly disordered laws relevant to seafarers as well as to enhance the rights, benefits and privileges accorded to Filipino seafarers. In view of that objective, a drafting sub-committee was established from among the members of the National Organization Committee whose primary function is to draft a Magna Carta. It is composed of 18 government and non-government organizations, which were broken down into three working groups. Working Group I discuss the topic on excellence and competitiveness of Filipino seafarers, Working Group II discuss their rights and protection, while working Group III discuss their empowerment. There were four meetings held by the drafting sub-committee, separate from the Working Groups I and II, which had one (1) meeting each. In the process of drafting the Magna Carta, several references were considered. Foremost of these are twenty (20) pending legislative measures relevant to overseas employment. Bills filed in the 11th Congress relevant to Filipino seafarers were also considered. Provisions deemed beneficial to seafarers were lifted and incorporated in the draft. Some of these bills are new proposals while others are proposing to amend existing laws, rules and regulations. Several provisions from existing laws which are considered important and relevant were also considered important and relevant were also considered. These laws include the Labor Code of the Philippines, Migrant workers and other Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995 or Republic Act 8042, Standard Employment Contract of the POEA, International Convention on the STCW?78, as amended, thirty-six (36) International Labor Organization Conventions relevant to the concerns and well-being of Filipino seafarers, four of which ratified by the Philippines, and the different laws creating and re-structuring the different government agencies relevant to Filipino seafarers. The Revised Rules of Court was considered in relation to jurisdiction and venue of illegal recruitment cases and money claims. Reference were also made to laws creating the government agencies enumerated in the Magna Carta for the purpose of enhancing their mandate and functions to provide better service and protection to seafarers. There were six (6) regional and satellite conventions prior to the FSNC, to state, Hamburg, Rotterdam, Philadelphia, Cebu, Davao and Kaohsiung. Inputs, comments from these consultations were considered in the drafting of the Magna Carta. While a draft Magna Carta has been prepared for this Convention, this remains to be a working draft. As such, this draft shall be forwarded to appropriate authorities in the Executive Branch of the Government and the Philippine Congress in order that the same may be considered in the light of efforts to legislate a Magna Carta for Filipino Seafarers. As a working draft, the same is expected to undergo further review and study for purposes of coming up with a law that is relevant and responsive to the needs of the Filipino Seafarers. With this submission comes the recommendation that a technical Working Group be convened by the appropriate committees of the Philippine Congress from among the delegates to the convention, other stakeholders, and government representatives. This document contains the draft Magna Carta for Filipino Seafarers and annotation bearing the rationale and references for the proposed provision.
I - AN ACT INSTITUTING THE MAGNA CARTA FOR FILIPINO SEAFARERS
Section I. Title
This Act shall be known as the Magna Carta for Filipino Seafarers. I. General Provisions
Section 2. Declaration of Policies:
a. It is the policy of the State to afford full protection to...
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